C tf "
/NOBMAL\ V _
(DUk Normal Srlpral
Toronto Normal School
SCHOOL OF GRAPHIC ARTS
Training and Re-establishment Insiiiuu-
SO Gould Slrci-l . I oronlo
Centenary Celebration .
Centenary Address, by J. G. Althouse, M.A., D.Paed., LL.D. . 13
Chief Director of Education for the Province of Ontario.
HISTORY OF TORONTO NORMAL SCHOOL
I. Old Government House .
II. First Year . . 27
III. Temperance Hall . . 32
IV. St. James Square . . 38
V. Years of Transition ...... .45
VI. Turn of the Century . . 51
VII. Between Two Wars . . 58
VIII. To-Day . 64
Staff Through the Century . 70
n addition to the acknowledgments made in follow
ing pages, the Centennial Committee of the Toronto
Normal School wish to express their thanks to Mr. David
Whyte, who supplied helpful information regarding the
years when Mr. Scott w as principal. Appreciation is
also expressed to those who have co-operated to make
the publication of this volume possible: the Ontario De
partment of Education, the Toronto Training and Re-
establishment Institute, and the editorial committee
J. C. Boylen. H. E. Elborn. Miss Jean Merchant and
Dr. G. W. Spragge.
A HE PROGRAMME OB THE Centenary Celebration of the
Toronto Normal School centred around two main events: first, a dinner
in Simpson s Arcadian Court on the evening of October 24, 1947, when
six hundred and fifty graduates and friends gathered to celebrate the
one hundredth birthday of the School; and second, a reception attended
by some hundreds of graduates on the following afternoon at the School s
old buildings in St. James Square, Church and Gould Streets.
A spirit of re-union pervaded the attractive Court on the night of
the dinner. The ushers twelve students of the 1947-48 year, directed
by Mr. C. A. Mustard, M.B.E. showed guests to the tables reserved
for special visitors, for members of the staff of the Normal and Normal-
Model Schools, and for graduates of the various years. As "it s always
fine weather when good fellows get together," the room was bright with
crowding memories when the guests at the head table filed to their places.
Mr. Z. S. Phimister, Superintendent of Public Schools, Toronto,
and a graduate of 1924, called the assembly to order, and, as chairman,
asked the senior graduate present, Dr. John Dearness, 71, to say Grace.
In a firm voice that scarcely needed the public address system to carry
it throughout the great room, Dr. Dearness, whose personal memories
cover three-quarters of the School s first century, asked the blessing of
God upon the gathering.
Head table guests were: Mr. Z. S. Phimister, Chairman, and Mrs.
Phimister; Dr. J. G. Althouse, Chief Director of Education, and Mrs.
Althouse; Mr. F. S. Rutherford, Deputy Minister of Education, and Mrs.
Rutherford; Hon. Mr. Justice J. A. Hope, Chairman of the Royal Com
mission on Education, and Mrs. Hope; Dr. H. E. Amoss, Superintendent
of Professional Training, and Mrs. Amoss; Mrs. S. J. Radcliffe, whose
husband, Dr. Radcliffe, was Principal of the School from 1918 to 1929;
Mr. David Whyte, Principal of the School, 1929-38, and Mrs. Whyte;
Drr John Dearness; Mr. H. E. Elborn, Principal since 1939, and Mrs.
The programme following the dinner opened with a Toast to the
King, proposed by the Chairman. After introducing the guests at the head
table, Mr. Phimister spoke as follows:
"Now I should like to be able to introduce everyone in this room
where we have so many classes of the Toronto Normal School repre
sented. I suppose each class looks back upon its own year and thinks
that in that year the fairest girls and the plainest men were gathered
"One of the clearest memories I have of my year at Normal is that
of Dr. Radcliffe teaching with the sun shining on his beaming face.
With Dr. Radcliffe education was a thing of the heart as well as the mind
and soon his enthusiasms were shared by his students. He was a great
inspiration to all of us. In that same year, 1923, Thornton Mustard be
came a member of the Normal School staff and taught demonstration
lessons for the students. I never heard Literature taught until I heard
Thornton Mustard. The lessons he produced I still remember.
The splendour falls on castle walls.
I am Bega least of bells.
Tiger, tiger, burning bright.
"All of you will recall with a certain nostalgia, I am sure, the period
of your training at the Toronto Normal School. This evening you will
have an opportunity to greet old classmates and members of the Normal
School staffs through the years. I am sure that those whom we would
wish to be here to-night will be with us in spirit as we carry on this
"Not only do we celebrate the one hundredth birthday of the Toronto
Normal School but on this 24th of October, 1947, we commemorate the
Centenary of Teacher Training in Ontario. Teacher training in this
Province began on November 1st, 1847, when the Provincial Normal
School was opened in the old Government House at the corner of King
and Simcoe Streets. Two of the speakers on that occasion were the Chief
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Egerton Ryerson, and the new Head
master of the Normal School, Mr. T. J. Robertson.
"Ten years prior to the opening of the Normal School, Queen Victoria
had come to the throne of England as a young girl of 18. In 1897 she
celebrated the sixtieth year of her reign, and in that same year on
November 2nd, 1897, one hundred men prominent in the life of the
Province, all of them graduates of the Toronto Normal School, cul
minated a three-day programme celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of
the School by holding a dinner. One of the guests that evening who
responded to the Toast to the ex-students was Inspector John Dearness,
who had graduated from the Toronto Normal School in 1871. We are
proud to have with us on the occasion of the hundredth birthday of the
Toronto Normal School, Dr. Dearness, who in his own person carries
us back to those halcyon days when there were no motor accidents,
no telephones, no radio, when progress was an admirable word and the
future was bright. It may be that there are persons in this room to-night
who, fifty years hence, may participate in the Sesqui-centennial of
teacher-training and the 150th birthday of the Toronto Normal School.
I wonder what changes such persons would see in 1997. In 1897 one
hundred men celebrated the fiftieth anniversary. To-night some six
hundred celebrate the hundredth anniversary, and the men now are in
a minority. Perhaps fifty years hence the wheel will have gone full
circle and the celebrations will be conducted wholly by the women with
the men remaining at home.
"Not only is this an historic occasion because we celebrate the
centennial of teacher-training and the hundredth birthday of the Toronto
Normal School, but also because at the end of this first century we
stand poised at the beginning of great new developments in education
comparable to the developments which followed the Ryerson Report
in 1846. What was conceived and built in those early years was the main
structure of the educational system in this Province which has prevailed
for the past century. Now the old premises are being closely scrutinized
and a new stucture is being considered. The principal architect of the
new structure is with us at this table this evening, The Honourable Mr.
Justice John A. Hope, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Education.
"So at this time when we look back at the century which has passed,
we stand on the threshold of things to come as did the people of this
Province in 1847 when the common schools and teachers for those
common schools were being developed.
"To-night when we are conscious of the challenge of the future as
well as the history of the past, we must face the fact that in a democracy
leaders must have the support of the majority of the people. Few things
can be done unless the mass is ready to do its share. Hence, to all of us
to-night must come the thought that the future is not only what the
leaders conceive but what the rest of us accept as our responsibility.
At the conclusion of Mr. Phimister s address, Mr. Albert Carr, a
graduate of 1946-47, the Centennial Year, added much to the pleasure of
the evening by singing two solos, accompanied at the piano by Miss
Olive Russell, 36.
The Chairman then asked Dr. H. E. Amoss to introduce the guest
speaker, Dr. J. G. Althouse. Dr. Amoss, Ontario s Superintendent of Pro
fessional Training, made thoughtful observations on problems of teacher-
training, and paid tribute to the leadership given by Dr. Althouse, who
was organizing a corps of experts within the Department to carry out the
policies which would evolve from the findings of the Royal Commission
The Centenary Address delivered by Dr. Althouse will be found in
this volume on pages 13 to 20.
The programme of the dinner concluded in re-union vein. "Greetings
to the Students and Staff over the Years" were conveyed in genial style
by Mr. W. E. Hanna, who graduated from the School in 1903, and who
retired in 1947 from the Principalship of the Oakwood Collegiate In
stitute. Mr. Hanna asked representatives of the eighties and nineties to
stand; he gave special attention to the "nought" years, including his own
03; and then turned to the memory of men and women who had con
tributed much to the School, but who were no longer living. Reading
the roster of Principals who had passed on, he asked the assembly to
rise in honour of these men and their associates. Mr. David Whyte,
Principal Emeritus of the School, replied on behalf of former students
and staff to Mr. Hanna s address. In his references to the progress of the
School over the years, Mr. Whyte mentioned particularly the contribu
tion of women-teachers to the educational life of the Province, and
emphasized the outstanding work of the Soldier Year of 1919-20. This
notable group was well represented at the dinner, and its members stood
at Mr. Whyte s request.
"Greetings to the Toronto Normal School of To-day" were extended
by Mr. Harvey Griffin, Superintendent of Public Schools, York Township,
and a graduate of 14. Mr. Griffin, as an administrator responsible for
supervising recent graduates, congratulated the School on its effective
work, and also referred to the influence of the association of students one
with another during their training year. He asked graduates of his own
year, 1914, to stand, and stand they did, some fifty strong, under the
leadership of their president, Miss Rilla Clegg. This group had held
annual re-unions for many years, and their representation was perhaps
the greatest of any single year at the dinner. Reply to Mr. Griffin s
address was voiced by Mr. H. E. Elborn, Principal of the School, who
extended the thanks of the Centennial Committee to graduates; to staff
members, both present and former; to officials of the Department of
Education; and to the Director, Principal, and staff of the Toronto Train
ing and Re-establishment Institute, for their help in making the Centen
ary Celebration a success.
The dinner closed with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
The Centennial Reception on the following afternoon at the buildings
formerly occupied by the Normal School at Church and Gould Streets,
was made possible by the generous co-operation of the Training and
Re-establishment Institute, and particularly of its Director, Mr. H. H.
Kerr; its Principal, Lt. Col. F. H. Wood; and its hostess, Mrs. Gladys
Dobson. The opportunity of visiting the old School, the scene of their
training days, was appreciated by some hundreds of graduates. Guests
were received for the first hour by Principal and Mrs. H. E. Elborn,
Miss Jean Merchant, and Miss Florence F. Halliday, and for the second
hour by Principal Emeritus and Mrs. David Whyte, Mr. and Mrs. R. A.
Johnston, and Mr. A. M. Patterson. Tours arranged by Lt. Col. F. H.
Wood, and conducted by members of his staff, showed graduates the old
Normal School building, as altered for the instruction in trades of men
and women from the Forces. As part of each tour, guests were shown
an historical display, Toronto Normal School, 1847-1947, prepared by
students of the Centennial Year under the general direction of a member
of the Normal School staff, Lt. Col. M. H. Park. Episodes from the School s
story over the century were depicted in a frieze, developments in method
ology and school management were illustrated by series of charts, while
models of schools, kindergarten classrooms, and educational projects
emphasized contrasting practices over the years. A collection of items
related to the School from the Provincial Archives was also on display,
the selection having been made by Dr. G. W. Spragge, Secretary of the
Ontario Historical Society.
Tea was served in the dining-room of the Institute, where the
hostesses were Mrs. E. H. McKone, Dean of Women, Toronto Normal
School, and Mrs. G. Dobson of the Re-establishment Institute. Students
of the 1947-48 year assisted, and tea was poured by Mrs. S. J. Radcliffe,
and Mrs. John Elborn of Stratford, a graduate of 1888. To Mrs. James
Kerr, a graduate of 1887, fell the honour of cutting the Hundredth Birth
day Cake, which was in the form of an open book, with a picture of the
School brushed on the icing of one of its pages.
The wide range of years represented in the register signed by the
guests at the reception showed how loyally graduates had cherished the
interest aroused in the School during their training year.
The committees responsible for the Centenary Celebration were as
Central Committee: F. S. Rivers, H. H. Kerr, H. E. Elborn.
Banquet Committee: R. A. Johnston, C. A. Mustard, H. A. Blanchard,
Miss Edna B. Rennie, E. Learoyd, A. McLeod, A. Goodwin, M.
McCordic, C. Vanderburgh, C. Potts, C. Chellew, G. Phillips, J. E.
Laughlin, S. Taylor, E. Parsons, Misses O. H. Clegg, M. Loblaw,
B. MacBrien, M. McVey, E. Lamb, B. Haines, A. Ryrie, M. Moore,
M. Hamilton, M. Allen, Mesdames J. M. McEachern, A. Wright,
P. Roszell, and C. Atkinson.
Invitation Committee: Miss J. L. Merchant, Miss F. F. Halliday, Mr.
A. M. Patterson.
Programme Committee: H. E. Elborn, Dr. W. E. M. Aitken, Mrs.
F. G. Russell.
Reception Committee: Mrs. E. H. McKone, Miss M. Young, David Burns.
Historical Display Committee: M. H. Park, W. L. Strieker, Miss J. M.
Editorial Committee: J. C. Boylen, H. E. Elborn, Miss J. L. Merchant,
and Dr. G. W. Spragge.
Treasurer: R. A. Johnston.
(Dr. J. G. Althouse, Chief Director cf Education for the Province
of Ontario, delivered the Centenary Address at the Hundredth
Birthday Dinner of Toronto Normal School on October 24, 1947.
The text cf Dr. Althouse s address is given below.)
V-/UR GATHERING TO-NIGHT is to celebrate one hundred years
of teacher-training in this Province. Yet the first attempts to introduce
teacher-training occurred at least a quarter of a century earlier a
monitorial school at Kingston and the Central School at York both
proposed to train teachers, although neither succeeded. A little later,
Township Model Schools (not to be confused with the later County
and District Model Schools) actually began to train teachers, but they
dwindled to a mere handful by 1847, and by 1855 had ceased to function.
The founding of the Normal School was, then, the third attempt at
training teachers. Its importance lies not in its antiquity but in its success.
That success was not immediate nor rapidly attained. It was achieved
rather slowly and by great effort. Often it was recognized more readily
by later generations than by contemporaries. And, partly because of
these very facts, the success of Normal School teacher-training in this
Province is of profound significance. For this sustained attempt to train
teachers is at once an indication of the determination of the Provincial
Government to develop a coherent, comprehensive system of education,
and a potent reason for the growth of such a system. In a day when,
perforce, much had to be left to the local community in the provision
and support of common schools; in a day when of necessity there had to
be a wide variation in the accommodation and equipment of schools,
it was a shrewd and statesmanlike move for the Provincial authorities
to concern themselves with the improvement of the teaching staff.
In teacher-training, Provincial control, as illustrated by the Normal
School, was vigorously challenged by local interest. The result was the
competitive system of County Model Schools, which were commended
to many by their inexpensive, short courses and by their apparent
practicality. Yet, in the long run, these Model Schools became ancillary
co the Normal Schools and ultimately disappeared. Their influence,
however, had been extensive. Probably they contributed more than their
protagonists knew to the tradition that teaching is a natural stepping-
stone to something more lucrative and of higher prestige. Yet they did
exercise a salutary influence upon those who were inclined to over
emphasize the academic and the theoretical.
How did it happen that one kind of teacher training the Normal
School type has endured for a hundred years in this Province, whereas
other types, introduced with high hopes and for practical reasons, have
had a much shorter history? I shall not attempt to discern and record
all the reasons that must be left to a more analytical observer. But I
do suggest one reason which I hope will be obvious to all. The Normal
School type of teacher-training endured because it was able to adapt
itself to changing conditions and expanding concepts of public education.
Sometimes it did this very slowly, almost reluctantly; on memorable
occasions it anticipated coming trends.
Its darkest days were those in which it sought to perpetuate a rigid :
authoritarian system which was probably the only safe method for
teachers who were immature, poorly equipped with academic knowledge
and condemned to a bare subsistence economic level by the pitiful
salaries of the day. It was unfair to expect such persons to think construc
tively for themselves and for their pupils. So the Normal School sought
to teach them sure-fire methods of dealing with every teaching problem.
When the new High Schools began to do a better job of academic prepara
tion, when the average entrance age of the student teachers rose, and
when more adequate remuneration for teachers was offered, the Normal
School appeared to be grudging in its tardy recognition of these facts,
and earned an unenviable reputation for stodginess and dullness.
Its brightest days were those in which the staff set the pace in this
country in arousing interest in the child rather than in the curriculum
and in humanizing the outlook as well as the methods of the schools. It
is only fair to add that the bright spots in the record are more numerous
and more extensive than the dull patches. But those who experienced
the dull patches have been unforgiving critics.
The ability of the Normal School to adapt itself to changing condi
tions is well illustrated by the change of locale of the Toronto Normal
School. Its earliest home in the old Government House was an omen
of the proprietory concern which the Provincial Government would
continue to entertain for it. The speed with which the Normal School
evacuated in 1849, when Parliament returned (at least in alternate years)
to its old quarters, was prophetic of its prompt response, ninety-odd years
later, when a greater national emergency arose.
The tenancy of Temperance Hall invites obvious comment, from
which I shall refrain, noting only that the sojourn was brief and ter
minated with enthusiasm on the part of the students and staff, if we are to
believe the record.
The historic building, opened in 1852, is well described in the
centenary brochure as "more than a Normal School," "the centre of the
publicly-supported school system of the Province." It was surely putting
first things first to make the Departmental administrative offices an
adjunct of the teacher-training institution, for, whatever the administra
tive machinery may be, actual education takes place in the meeting of
pupil and teacher; its quality depends upon the effectiveness of that
meeting. And it was wholesome that in the teacher-training institution
there should be found the Depository, devoted to the supplying of school
equipment, the Museum, the germ of later developments in Art as well
as in Museum activity, and the Botanical Garden, the forerunner of
experimental training in Agriculture as well as in advanced Botany.
This combination of the cultural and the practical, both in conjunc
tion with the development of teaching techniques, was a happy augury
of the leadership which Ontario has shown in the development of voca
tional education and in experiments in adapting schools to rural needs.
One cannot but feel that Ryerson would be quite content to see the
practical use now made of the plant at 50 Gould Street in the rehabilita
tion training of the men and women of the armed services.
But enough of the physical evidences of the Normal School s versatil
ity and universality. The steady growth there of a philosophy of educa
tion is of much greater importance. The Normal School was established,
as your record aptly says, "in a period when knowledge and skill were
synonymous with education." It was a time, too, when knowledge was
conspicuously lacking in most of the candidates who presented them
selves for teacher-training. Small wonder that the Normal School found
its chief business that of supplying and organizing knowledge, and that
the theory that knowledge is power even teaching power met with
Two comments may be relevant at this point. The first is that even
in those days, when the acquisition of knowledge bulked so large in the
training programme, there were enlightened gropings towards a more
profound philosophy of education. The Pestalozzian system of object
lessons was so well exemplified at the Toronto Normal School that
American visitors were frequent and departed deeply impressed.* The
history method described on page 26 of your centenary booklet is a
startling departure from the rigidly-organized, meticulously memorized
type of information so much esteemed in the period.
The other comment is that the present age is one in which there is a
definite return to the recognition of the importance of knowledge and
of skill. We have emerged from a global war, in which good intent was
strikingly futile unless backed by sound knowledge and accurate skill.
To-day we can look with great sympathy on the insistence of the early
Normal School masters upon the mastery of knowledge. But we now
maintain that educative knowledge must be carefully selected. It must
be fundamental, so that it can be adapted to changing needs. It must be
appropriate to the age of the pupil, so that it may result in independent
judgment, not in routine acquiescence. It must be dynamic, leading to
the acquisition and systematization of more knowledge. To-day we may
be critical of a curriculum-centred theory of education; we dare not be
hostile to a theory that insists upon the pupils learning thoroughly and
accurately the things which human society has stamped as essential for
The re-organization of the secondary schools in 1871 released the
Normal School from the necessity of finding its major task in the impart
ing of knowledge. Candour compels the admission that this release was
greeted with little enthusiasm. It is a truism to say that teacher-training
colleges find it difficult to admit that the schools which supply them
with students equip those students adequately. The training colleges
can almost always discover convincing reasons for spending much time
in remedying that inadequate equipment. This was true of the Normal
School in the 70 s, but gradually it became clear, even to the Normal
School, that its task was no longer academic preparation. Its next
preoccupation was methodology. This had two notable results. It empha
sized the importance of group instruction (here it is well to remember
that, for reasons of economy alone, group instruction is still the method
of most publicly-supported schools) . And it led inevitably to a growing
concern about the nature of the child.
Among the discoveries about child nature which attracted attention
at the time was the fact that a child learns faster and better when his
interest is aroused. Motivation still remains a key word in education.
* Page 44 of this volume.
During the war we saw previously indifferent pupils master difficult
courses rapidly and well they had potent motivation. We could not
forget that for half a century and more the schools had been seeking
to motivate pupils by competition and by appeals to self-interest. The
results had not been satisfactory. In wartime we learned that the motiva
tion of duty, of shared responsibility, of joint obligation was stronger
than we had dared to hope. It will be too bad if we forget that lesson
in these troublous times of peace. But I wander from the point, which
is that in the 70 s, 80 s and 90 s the aim of the Normal School moved
from the organization of teaching material to a better understanding of
the mind of the pupil. This involved a decline in the emphasis on formal
discipline and the appearance of much specialization in teacher-training
courses. For example, it was during this period that the kindergarten
movement reached the Province and summer sessions, offered at first
by voluntary agencies, supplemented the regular teacher-training course
and gave opportunity for specialization.
It was not until the turn of the century, however, that this special
ization envisaged much more than concentration upon certain subjects
of instruction or upon methods in certain areas of the curriculum. Then,
in gradual manner, came the recognition that the most fruitful sort of
specialized teacher-training deals not with subject matter but with the
different ages, the varying temperaments and the differing abilities of
the children in the schools. With this conviction, Ontario teacher-training
came of age; henceforth it focussed the attention of the student-teachers
upon the pupil.
Many improvements have followed this philosophical turning-point
in our teacher-training. A few examples must suffice; the whole list is
too extensive to be enumerated. Practice teaching schedules have be
come longer and more realistic, rural practice has received greater
attention, and the doctrines of pupil-participation so warmly advocated
by the Normal School staff have actually been practised in some of the
Normal School classes!
Many reforms still remain to be effected, but one phase of the recent
development of Ontario teacher-training deserves grateful remembrance.
It is this. American theories of psychology and particularly the philoso
phy of John Dewey have exerted a deep influence on our educational
thought and practice, but American Progressivism has never led the
principals and staffs of our Normal Schools to believe or to teach that
whatever is natural to the child must therefore be wholesome. Our
Normal Schools have held firmly to the faith that the individual is a
social being, that his life is meaningless except in a social setting in
other words, that he must develop into a citizen as well as into a
The late Thornton Mustard was an outstanding apostle of freedom
amongst us. He believed in freedom for the child to develop into an
effective adult an adult in a society of adults bound together by mutual
obligations as well as by common hopes, aspirations and faiths. That
concept of freedom for the development of social effectiveness is far
removed from the thinking which sees in freedom only absence of re
straint and liberation from obligation.
Our comparative immunity from what has been called "the North
American epidemic of irresponsibility" has been purchased at a price.
We have proceeded with painful slowness towards a frank understanding
of individual differences in children, and equally slowly towards the
modifications of our school courses suggested by these differences. We
have been reluctant to abandon traditional school programmes lest we
thereby abandon sound standards of thoroughness. Probably we have
allowed our pride in our Scottish (and Northern Irish) respect for
intellectual excellence to blind us to the importance of excellence in the
fields of the practical, the emotional and the aesthetic. Be this as it may,
it remains true that several generations of young persons who have
left our schools, and their Normal-trained staffs, have won for Canada
an enviable reputation for industry, integrity, resourcefulness, humanity
and sensitivity to the calls of duty.
The proof of the pudding, we are told, is the eating of it. I submit
that the pudding in which so many Normal-trained teachers have had
a hand has turned out to be sound, substantial, honest fare. It may have
lacked spice and variety; it may even have been a bit heavy in spots.
But the eating of it has left neither a dark-brown taste nor a sour stomach
only a healthy appetite for more. To this appetite ample witness is
borne by the unparalleled demand of our service veterans for rehabilita
tion training and by the presently congested enrolment of our
The charge that the teacher-training of our Normal Schools has not
manifested a consistent philosophy of education leaves me unperturbed.
Improvement is better than consistency, any day. When the chief concern
of educators progresses from subject-matter to method to pupil, I rejoice
in its inconsistency. When the pupil is habitually regarded as a social
being with interdependent rights and obligations, I refuse to be upset
by superficial contradictions in the record.
Read the centenary brochure again, and with particular attention
to the description of the successive Principals of this Normal School.
They differed widely, in background, in temperament, even in deport
ment. But you will be struck, as I was, by the amazing proportion of them
who are characterized by the word "kind." That was their bond of kin
ship; they were genuinely interested in their fellows and in their task
of guiding the development of little children. T. J. Robertson and Dr.
Sangster were separated from S. J. Radcliffe, David Whyte, Thornton
Mustard and H. E. Elborn by years of time, by marked changes in social
habits and by the bewildering effects of scientific developments which
have altered ways of thought as much as ways of communication. But
fundamentally these Principals and their staffs have all been in one line
of succession. The mark of that line is unlimited devotion to the cause of
better opportunities for the children of this Province opportunities to
develop into sturdy, efficient, considerate citizens.
History of the
Toronto Normal School
Old Government House
J.HE TIME WAS AFTERNOON, November 1, 1847. The place
was the ballroom of old Government House, at the corner of King and
Simcoe Streets, Toronto. The event was the formal opening of the Provin
cial Normal School. "On entering the room," wrote a reporter in The
British Colonist, "we found it changed in every feature. At the western
end was a raised platform. In the centre of the platform were seated the
Chief Superintendent of Schools [Dr. Egerton Ryerson] and other Mem
bers of the Provincial Board of Education, Mr. T. J. Robertson, Head
Master of the Normal School, Mr. H. Y. Hind, the Lecturer on Mathema
tics, Natural Philosophy and Agricultural Chemistry." On either hand
were leading citizens in the realms of church, school, and state among
them Bishop John Strachan, Dr. John McCaul, and Chief Justice John
Beverley Robinson. "The body of the hall was crowded by those inter
ested in Education," continued The British Colonist with enthusiasm. (Its
publisher was a member of the Board of Education possibly one of those
on the platform.) "The room was nearly filled," reported The Globe with
less enthusiasm, "and there was a tolerably fair attendance of officials
and others who make up the show of a Toronto exhibition." (The Globe
had not forgotten Dr. Ryerson s stand in the election of 1844.)
The programme opened with prayer, after which Dr. Ryerson de
livered an address. Then forty-four years of age, the Superintendent was
in the prime of life, and his keen eye and genial presence lent persuasion
to his words. He began with an explanation of the name of the school.
"The word Normal signifies according to rule, or principle, and is em
ployed to express the systematic teaching of the rudiments of learning.
... A Normal School . . . is a school in which the principles and prac
tice of teaching according to rule, are taught and exemplified." After a re
view of current school legislation, the speaker dealt directly with the new
venture. The establishment of a Normal School having been approved
by the Legislature, the Board of Education for Upper Canada had lost no
time in applying for the premises known as Old Government House, in
repairing them, and in selecting through the Board of National Educa
tion of Ireland, a Head Master. The Model School would open early in
1848 in a neigbouring building. "Of the extension and complete success
of our Provincial Normal School I have not the shadow of doubt," de
clared Dr. Ryerson. In conclusion, he introduced to the assembly the
principal, Thomas Jaffray Robertson, former Chief Inspector of National
Schools of Ireland, and the assistant teacher, Henry Youle Hind.
Robertson s bearing tall, sturdy, and erect commanded the respect
of the audience. His massive forehead, curly black locks, black eyes be
neath shaggy brows, bronzed face, and black beard gave him an appear
ance resembling that of Charles Dickens. Briefly he outlined the nature of
an institution for teacher-training, and described the benefits realized by
Ireland from the establishment of Normal and Model Schools. He was
critical of the monitorial system of teaching, stating that it made teachers
indolent, and teaching too much a matter of routine. He advocated the
simultaneous method, with the teacher dealing directly with his pupils.
"Throughout his address," reported The British Colonist, "Mr. Robert
son displayed the accomplishments of the scholar allied to the practical,
so necessary to success in the onerous task committed to his hands."
Henry Youle Hind, was the third speaker of the evening. This young
Englishman of twenty-four, who was later to win a reputation as a geolo
gist and explorer, delivered a lecture on the subjects of Natural Philo
sophy, Agricultural Chemistry, and Mathematics. So greatly did Ids
address impress The British Colonist, that it secured a copy for publica
tion in its issue of November 9. The Globe was sympathetic but inclined to
defer judgment. "Both he and Mr Robertson," it reported, "are evidently
accomplished men in point of information. But something more is re
quired than knowledge. The teachers of a Normal School should be men,
not only of information, but full of fire and zeal, which it should be their
study to infuse into their pupils, that they may carry the same spirit into
every common school house in the Province. Sincerely do we hope that
these gentlemen may be found possessed of these important qualifica
tions they have our best wishes for their complete success."
Next morning twenty young men enrolled as students. Before long,
this number had increased to fifty-two, nearly half of whom had had
some previous experience in teaching. In after years, one of these first
students, Rev. E. H. Dewart, D.D., spoke thus of the opening of the school:
"The establishment of a Normal School for the training of teachers for
our Public Schools was the opening of a fountain at which many thirsty
Old Government House
Courtesy John Ross Robertson Historical Collection
souls, whom circumstances had previously shut out from such a privilege,
were permitted to slake their thirst for knowledge. I can testify from
personal experience and observation that the students at the earlier
sessions were nearly all of this class. I shall never forget how the an
nouncement of the opening of the Normal School in Toronto, which I
incidentally saw in a newspaper, fell on my path, in the backwoods of
the county of Peterborough, like a beam of light from Heaven. I had
tried, some time before that, to make an arrangement to go to another
educational institution and had failed, and was very much disappointed.
I read the announcement over and over. It seemed almost too good
to be true, but it seemed to be just what I required. I wrote to Dr.
Ryerson, and received an encouraging answer. So I started for Toronto
and tramped one hundred and twenty miles through the November
snows. Like another pilgrim we read of, I found hills of difficulty and
sloughs of despond before I reached the celestial city. But though foot
sore and weary, I trudged on and never thought of turning back. A kind
welcome from Dr. Ryerson and Mr. Robertson, the Head Master, made
me forget all the fatigue of the journey."
Old Government House was an admirable first home for the Normal
School. Vacant because of the transfer of the capital, first to Kingston and
later to Montreal, after the Union of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841,
the former residence of the Governor had passed into the hands of the
city. In the spring of 1846, Ryerson made arrangements by which "old
Government House and Appendages" were to be turned over to the
Board of Education. The "appendages" were chiefly the stables which
were to house the model school.
Built of wood, with roughcast exterior, Government House has been
described as "a large yellow-coloured house about which there is nothing
particularly worthy of remark," but a painting still in existence seems to
belie this disparaging comment. The grounds were "prettily laid out in
plantations and groves," and to their natural beauty was added a small
stream running through a ravine. The city seems to have used the prop
erty as a park, for in The Globe of September 8, 1847, we read that "the
Rifle Band will play in the Normal School Grounds at 4 o clock, instead
of 5, every Tuesday afternoon."
Toronto was, at this time, a growing young city with a population of
just over 20,000, forty per cent, of whom were from Ireland. Government
House faced Wellington Street at the south-west corner of King and
Simcoe Streets. To the south, between Wellington and Front Streets, were
the old Parliament Buildings, in use at that time as a Lunatic Asylum.
Directly north, across King Street, was Upper Canada College. "Walking
eastward along King Street," stated a newcomer, "proceeding as far
north as Queen, we found we had, as far as business was concerned, seen
Toronto, with the exception of a few wholesale warehouses south of
King. Along Church Street . . . could be heard tintinnabulation of the
bells on the necks of the cows which roamed through the browny-green
pastures and among the thick bush which prevailed east of Church and
north of Queen Street."
A fine building for King s College had been built at the head of Col
lege Avenue (now University Avenue) ; streets were being opened and a
few houses erected between Queen and College. The city was confined
for the most part, however, to the district south of Queen Street. Stages
ran daily to Kingston, Hamilton, and Holland Landing, while local traffic
was handled by omnibuses which left Yorkville for King Street "every
half hour, from IVz o clock a. m. to 8 p. m."
The opening of a provincial Normal School in a city of such a size was
a matter of no small importance.
.HE FORMAL OPENING of the Normal School, as described
in the previous chapter, was to use Churchill s phrase, the end of the be
ginning. Some years of study, planning, and effort had gone before.
The first Common School Act of Upper Canada had taken, in 1816,
a first step towards publicly supported schools, and in succeeding years,
under the direction of the Rev. Dr. John Strachan, an educational sys
tem had been established in the Province. But the political turmoil pre
ceding the rebellion of 1837 had obstructed educational progress, and it
was not until after the union of the provinces in 1841 that overdue meas
ures were taken to improve conditions in schools. The establishment of
a Normal School then became a matter of concern.
In many countries, notably Prussia, France, Great Britain, Ireland,
and the United States, schools for the training of teachers were much in
the public mind during the first half of the nineteenth century. The first
publicly supported Normal School in North America was opened at Lex
ington, Massachusetts, in 1839. Parallel interest in teacher-training was
evident in Upper Canada. In 1836 the Duncombe Report declared, "We
stand upon the threshold of a new dispensation in the science of educa
tion; . . . [we shall soon be able] to make certain and extensive provi
sion for the support of schools for teachers and tutoresses." The McCaul
Report of 1839 echoed the sentiment, while Lord Durham s Report advo
cated that "both normal and model schools ought immediately to be set
The Act of 1843 assumed that a Normal School would be set up, but
someone was needed to devise and administer a new educational policy.
Such a man was found in the Reverend Egerton Ryerson who was ap
pointed Assistant Superintendent of Education for Canada West in 1844.
and Chief Superintendent of Education in 1846. Ryerson s views on edu
cation were not original, but they were strongly held and advocated with
persistence. "By education," he wrote, "I mean not the mere acquisition of
certain arts, or of certain branches of knowledge, but that instruction and
discipline which qualify and dispose the subjects of it for their appro
priate duties and employments of life, as Christians, as persons of busi
ness, and also as members of the civil community in which they live." The
new Superintendent had organizing and administrative ability; he could
make long-range plans, and prepare in advance for eventualities; and he
had the happy knack of selecting capable subordinates whom he inspired
with intense devotion to himself and his work.
Ryerson early recognized the fundamental importance of the teacher
in the educational system. He was convinced that teachers should be com
petent, that they should be persons of high character, and that they should
be adequately paid. To elevate teaching to the rank of a profession, a
Normal School was a necessity, and the founding of such a school became
one of his first aims.
In taking up his new duties, Ryerson had stipulated that he should be
allowed to visit Europe to investigate educational systems of other lands.
He was absent from Canada just over a year, visiting Austria, Prussia,
France, Great Britain and Ireland. His interest in the elementary schools
of these countries was equalled by his interest in the professional training
of their teachers. The normal schools of Prussia, Glasgow, Edinburgh and
Dublin impressed him greatly that of Dublin, most of all. It had, he
wrote, "pre-eminence over all similar establishments in the British
Ryerson s Report of 1846 recommended the establishment of the
Normal and Model Schools in Toronto, and steps were taken to make the
dream a reality. First of all, J. George Hodgins, chief clerk in the Educa
tion Office, was sent to Dublin to attend the Normal School there, and to
familiarize himself with the administration of such an institution. Then
the National Board of Education, Dublin, was asked to nominate a head
master for the Canadian school. John Rintoul, headmaster of the Model
Schools, Dublin, was first suggested, but, when he found it impossible to
leave Ireland, Thomas Jaffray Robertson, also of Dublin, was recom
mended and appointed. Robertson crossed the Atlantic in a sailing vessel,
and reached Toronto in September, 1847. With his wife and family he was
soon established in a suite of rooms on the second floor of Old Government
The second master, Henry Youle Hind, was a colourful figure. A
scholar at Queen s College, Cambridge, and later a student for two years
at Leipsic, he came to Canada in 1846, at the age of twenty-three. His
specialties were mathematics and science. After serving the Normal
School for six years, he became professor of chemistry and geology at
Trinity College, and later led the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan explor
ing expeditions of 1858.
Additional teachers, on a part-time basis, were engaged to teach such
subjects as bookkeeping, drawing, writing, and music. Among these
special instructors was William Hind, drawing teacher and younger
brother of the second master. Later to achieve some fame as a Canadian
artist, William Hind introduced his students to drawing from actual ob
jects instead of merely copying other drawings.
The School, at the time of its opening, was well equipped with 400
worth of books and apparatus which the headmaster had been authorized
to purchase before leaving the old country. All in all, there was a good
reason for Lord Elgin, who visited the school in the autumn of 1847, to
express himself as highly pleased.
Rev. Egerton Ryerson
Courtesy United Church Observer
Sir John Beverley Robinson
It had been intended that the course of studies should emphasize
methods of teaching, but this plan presupposed that the students pos
sessed thorough knowledge of the subjects they would be required to
teach. When it became clear that the students did not have such knowl
edge, the curriculum was framed to include all the subjects taught in
common and grammar schools. Reading, writing, grammar, composition,
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, history, drawing, the ele
ments of logic, and elementary science were the chief subjects taught.
Two hours a week were devoted to religious instruction, when ministers
of the various denominations came to the school and taught members of
their own faiths.
Attending Normal School in the early years was a full-time job.
Classes began early, ended late, and flowed over into Saturday mornings.
The daily time-table did not end at four o clock, but called for lectures
from six to eight in the evening as well. On Sundays the students were
required to attend their own churches.
Agricultural Chemistry was an additional subject begun in 1848 "to
promote the study of Agriculture in our schools and to prepare the Stu
dents of the Normal School for teaching it." Two prizes, of the values of
$20 and $12, were offered by Lord Elgin, the Governor-General, for pro
ficiency in the subject. With such encouragement, the students were given
an intensive and practical training in Agriculture; thus the Toronto Nor
mal School may be regarded not only as the forerunner of the Ontario
Agricultural College, but as a prime mover in the study of agriculture in
the elementary schools of Ontario.
To supplement their academic training, the students were given much
practical experience in the Model School, which came into operation in
the renovated stables of Government House on February 21, 1848. There
the teachers-in-training observed classes being taught and instructed
classes themselves. Counsel and criticism were given in connection with
these periods of practice-teaching.
The first session of the School ran from November 1, 1847, to April 13,
1848; the second began on May 15 and ended on October 12. A startling in
novation occurred during the second session, when twenty-two women
were admitted in addition to ninety-six men. Co-education was a novelty
at the time and was viewed with some alarm, while prejudice against
women as teachers was common. As late as 1859 a local superintendent
of schools wrote in his official report, "Few females possess that mental
ability and decision of character which are so essential to the successful
Teacher . . . the framers of the School Law committed a grave error in
authorizing females to teach at all." But once admitted, women continued
to attend the Normal School. In 1897, an early student, Dr. Emily H. Stowe,
organizer of the Woman Suffrage movement in Canada, wrote: "It is
with much pleasure that I contemplate what the Normal School has done
for the women of Canada. She was the first to open the doors to women s
higher education; first to recognize equality in the ability of the sexes to
compete in the halls of learning, and first to establish a system of co
education. All hail to our Provincial Normal School!"
Upper Canada had reason to be well pleased with the beginning its
Normal School had made. "I know," wrote Ryerson in his Annual Report,
"of no country in which the establishment of a normal school has been
attended with so little delay and opposition as in Upper Canada, and in
which its operations have been so successful in so short a time." General
opinion throughout the Province at that time is reflected in the following
report of a local superintendent in 1848:
"Whenever the trustees are fortunate enough to procure a Normal
School teacher . . . we see great energy and a spirit of emulation infused
among the scholars. . . . Wherever I have found these teachers (and we
have about a dozen of them in this district) the parents always tell me
with great satisfaction that heretofore they could scarcely hire their
children to go to school, but now they cannot hire them to stay at home.
The value of the Normal Institution is beyond all price."
Suddenly, however, in 1849, came word that the Normal School build
ings were to be vacated.
"N THE EVENING of April 25, 1849, a body of English-
speaking citizens in Montreal, infuriated at Lord Elgin s acceptance of the
Rebellion Losses Bill, set fire to the parliament buildings in that city, and
completely destroyed them. For a time doubt reigned as to the future
headquarters of the government, a doubt that aroused much speculation
in Toronto. As early as June there was "uncertainty of the tenure of the
Normal School building," but the summer passed by, with no decision an
nounced. Then came word that parliament was henceforth to meet alter
nately in Toronto and Quebec. On October 31, 1849, the Board of Education
was advised that the government required immediate possession of Gov
ernment House and its premises.
A committee was at once appointed to obtain a suitable building for
the Normal School. At the end of three weeks they were able to report
that they had secured the use of Temperance Hall for six months for 50.
Temperance Hall had been erected three years earlier by the Toronto
Temperance Reformation Society. The vice-president of the Society was
Jesse Ketchum, Toronto philanthropist, and owner of the block of land
bounded by Yonge, Adelaide, Bay, and Richmond Streets. Running a new
street through his garden from Yonge to Bay Street, he had named it
"Temperance" with the stipulation that no intoxicating liquor should be
sold in any building erected on it. On the south side of the street, halfway
between Yonge and Bay, he had donated a site for the erection of a build
ing devoted to the furtherance of the Society s aims. The foundation stone
of this Hall was laid on October 5, 1846.
It was "a plain brick building, and fitted up internally so as to afford
accommodation for public meetings in connection with temperance and
other subjects." For this purpose a large Assembly Hall and a number
of smaller rooms were provided. Evidently the building had little archi
tectural merit, and no picture or drawing of the exterior appears to be
In this makeshift accommodation, unsuitable and inconvenient, the
Normal School was housed for nearly three years. The Model Schools,
however, continued to occupy a portion of the Government Buildings
presumably the stables. Because the Hall was unsuitable for a summer
session, the vacation beginning in May, 1850, was prolonged, and during
the next school year only one session, running from September 1 to May
31, was held.
Meanwhile, the Head Master, T. J. Robertson, quietly increased in
professional reputation. From time to time he delivered addresses on
educational topics in Toronto and throughout the Province. An account
reprinted in The Globe of March 9, 1850, from The London Free Press tells
of the impression he made at a meeting in that city. "The large hall of the
Mechanics Institute was crowded with the most respectable and intelli
gent of our inhabitants and though the lecturer descanted on this all-
important subject [Education] for more than one hour and a half, not
a sign of weariness manifested itself in the whole assembly; and when
near concluding the lecturer began to apologize for the length of time he
had detained his audience, the cries of go on, go on, showed most un
equivocally the interest they felt in the lecture. Mr. Robertson s views of
education are of the right stamp, and he is manifestly master of his busi
ness. . . . We hope that the time will soon come when every common
schoolmaster in our country will be a graduate of the Normal School."
Public oral examinations were a feature of the School s closing cere
monies in those days. An account of the examination at the end of one
winter session appears in The Globe of April 18, 1850. Prominent citizens
were in attendance, and His Excellency the Governor-General, Lord Elgin,
came to the school on the second afternoon to present his prizes in Agri
cultural Chemistry. "The examinations were conducted by very talented
and energetic teachers, Messrs. Robertson and Hind, with much spirit,
which appeared to have its effect on the pupils by the promptitude of their
replies. In all departments the trials were most satisfactory. . . . We were
particularly pleased with the examination of the pupils by Mr. Robertson,
upon a subject on which he had lectured in the course of the session, i.e.,
the best mode of teaching school, the most efficient system of rewards and
punishments, the true meaning of education, etc., on all which subjects
Mr. Robertson appeared to have thoroughly impressed his pupils with
very correct views acquired in his experience as a teacher. We may add
that most of the female pupils appeared to have made quite as much pro
gress as those of the other sex in all the branches of study, even the more
abstruse. . . . When we reflect upon the change which would be worked
in Canada were there in every township and concession a regularly
trained teacher from this institution, instead of the many uneducated,
idle, and often dissolute teachers, which at present occupy them, we
cannot fail to take a warm interest in its success, and to aid those who
so well perform its arduous labours, in every way in our power."
What were the regulations for the admission of these students, whose
training was giving such satisfaction? Applicants were required to be at
least sixteen years of age, to be certified as of good moral character, to be
able to read and write intelligibly, to be acquainted with the simple rules
of arithmetic, and to declare their intention of teaching school upon
graduation. Tuition and text-books were supplied free of charge, and each
pupil was allowed a sum not exceeding five shillings per week to help
defray the expense of his board.
Students not living at home were required to board and lodge at
supervised and recommended boarding houses. Keeping student-boarders
meant an assured income for the landladies, and there was no dearth of
applications for the privilege. Each landlady was required to furnish a
certificate of good character, and to complete a form, issued for the pur
pose, which asked for her name and address, the number and size of the
rooms offered for rent, the number of boarders that could be accommo
dated, and the weekly charge. The usual cost of room and board ranged at
first from $2.25 to $3.00 per week. The masters of the school were required
to inspect the boarding-houses and to submit weekly reports, tasks which
proved irksome in time. "There should," complained one master, "be only
a few houses and these respectable and commodious. There are now not
fewer than 15 or 16 houses. . . . Altogether the system needs amend
Rules for the conduct of the students were also drawn up by the
Board of Education. They were expected to lead orderly and regular
lives; to be in their lodgings every night before 9: 30; to attend their places
of worship with strict regularity. They were to assemble in the Normal
School each morning at nine o clock; they were "to conduct themselves
with decorum and propriety, not merely when on the premises, but when
coming to or leaving them."
While classes were being taught at Temperance Hall, educational
authorities were taking steps to provide a new and permanent building
for the use of the school. In The Globe of September 28, 1850, we read: "A
meeting of the Council of Public Instruction for Upper Canada was held
in this City on Monday last, to decide on the competing designs for the
New Normal School. . . . The Council have concluded a bargain with the
Hon. Peter McGill for a site for the School. It is a block of seven acres
within the City limits, and bounded by Church, Gerrard, Victoria and
Gould Streets. The sum to be paid for it is 4,500, and at that price it is
very cheap. Designs for the building were duly tendered for, and a large
number given in." First choice of the Council was the design from the
firm of Cumberland and Ridout, who were appointed architects to
superintend the erection of the buildings.
The site selected, known as St. James Square, was at that time on the
fringe of the built-up portion of the city. A map of 1842 shows Bond Street
as intended to run from Queen Street to Gerrard; had it been thus ex
tended, it would have passed through the middle of the property. A map
published nine years later shows a small stream running through the
grounds and emerging at the corner of Church and Gould Streets. The
surface of the block was partly a bog, and abounded in stumps.
The sum of 15,000 was voted in August, 1850, "for the acquisition of
a site and erecting a building for the Upper Canada Normal School." Ten
ders were called, and on March 17, 1851, an agreement was signed with
the contractors James Metcalfe, Duncan Forbes, and Alexander Wilson,
who were "to erect, build, and completely finish buildings designed for a
Normal and Model Schools . . . with the best description of material of
all kinds. The timber to be free from all large Knots, Shakes, sap, and
other imperfections ... to the entire satisfaction of the Architect ... on or
before the first day of December next ensuing . . . [for] the sum of Eight
Thousand seven hundred and ninety Pounds currency."
On July 2, 1851, the ceremony of laying the corner-stone took place.
At half-past twelve o clock, His Excellency the Governor General arrived
at the grounds of the new school, accompanied by the Countess of Elgin.
Conducted to the flag-bedecked platform, they stood with the assembly
while a regimental band played God Save the Queen. A prayer by a
clergyman, an address by Dr. Ryerson, and a reply from His Excellency
preceded the laying of the stone, which bore on its brass plate the follow
ing inscription: "This Institution, Erected by the Enlightened Liberality
of Parliament, is Designed for the Instruction and Training of School
Teachers upon Christian Principles."
Construction did not proceed exactly as planned. On the 20th of No
vember, 1851, the architects wrote: "The progress of the works has been
affected by the great difficulty there has been in obtaining stone from
Ohio which every building in Town that has had much stone work about
it has felt. We shall however be ready for the centre roof in ten days."
Then the contracting firm failed, and new agreements had to be drawn up
with tinsmiths, plasterers, painters and glaziers, carpenters, and the rest.
At last all was completed, however, and a date set for the opening.
With eagerness, students and staff prepared to leave the temporary
quarters on Temperance Street.
St James Square
. HE PUBLIC OPENING of the new Normal and Model Schools
for Upper Canada took place on November 24, 1852. All that day, visitors
thronged the corridors of the buildings, inspecting the Offices of the
Education Department on the ground floor, toiling upstairs to see the
spacious lecture rooms, admiring the large central hall or theatre, and
walking through to the Boys and Girls Model Schools in the rear. The
building that they saw differed in appearance from the school now stand
ing on Gould Street, as one of the illustrations in this volume shows. It
was then but two storeys in height, and only the south block of the present
structure had been built. The model schools to the north were one-storey
buildings of wood.
"The whole [building] has been designed with a view rather to
utility than to effect," Ryerson had stated, when the corner-stone was
being laid, "care being taken, however, to maintain that fitness of decora
tion by which the purpose and importance of the institution may be
characterized and upheld." The front of the main structure was of Palla-
dian character, having for its centre four pilasters of the full height of the
building, with pediment surrounded by an open Doric cupola of the ex
treme height of ninety-five feet.
The equipment and installations were as perfect as possible. Gas and
water had been piped in, and furnaces were established in the basement.
The masters had been asked to estimate the amount of gas-lighting re
quired, and had recommended conservatively enough that "for each of
the large lecture rooms there should be a centre light of six burners and
two lights on the platform . . . the smaller classrooms and Masters
rooms need not be lighted." Fuel for the furnaces had been ordered: "one
hundred and fifty cords of the best Maple and Beech fire-wood, four feet
in length, sound and clear," to be delivered wherever required in the city
"at the rate of fourteen shillings and eleven pence one half penny per
Last but not least the question of lightning rods had been settled. Those
recommended by the architects were of Detroit manufacture, and if they
were as effective as their makers claimed, they were well worth the 50
which they cost. For they were described as being "of Superior, carbon
ized annealed Iron, with Zinc protectors and electro-Positive elements
. . . the whole mounted with a solid platinum-Silver point 12 inches long
surrounded at the base with three angular gold-plated negative magnates
which possess the power ... of discharging the most fearful oposit ele
ments. ... In fact they gather and silently discharge electricity from
the atmosphere when you would scarcely suspect any being present."
The Toronto Normal School, 1852
Courtesy T. A. Reed, Esq.
With the coming of evening on the opening day, a large audience
gathered in the theatre of the building for the official opening ceremony.
Judge S. B. Harrison, Chairman of the Council of Public Instruction, was
in the chair, and among those on the platform were: Chief Justice John
Beverley Robinson; Francis Hincks, the Inspector-General; Dr. John
McCaul, President of the University of Toronto; and Dr. Ryerson. Prayer
having been said, Chief Justice (later Sir) John Beverley Robinson de
livered the principal address. "It would be as wise," he stated, "to reject
the use of Railways because an occasional train runs off the track as to
hesitate to give education to the multitude for fear it may in some in
stances be perverted as no doubt it sometimes is, to bad purposes."
Robinson s reference to railways was topical, for it was in the pre
vious month that rails for the Northern Road had been unloaded from
three steamers and a schooner at the Queen s Wharf; a track had been
laid along the wharf and a locomotive placed on it. After a wood fire had
been kindled and the warning bell rung, the locomotive moved "slowly
at first," as The Globe reported, "but presently with more speed. Amid
the cheers of the crowd she moves along the wharf, the steam whistle
waking the echoes of the Bay."
The other speakers Hincks, McCaul, and Ryerson expressed their
satisfaction with the building, and paid tribute to the importance of the
School in the educational life of Upper Canada.
The newly opened institution was more than the Normal School. It
was the centre of the publicly supported school system of the Province.
One of its purposes was to house the Education Office, which had been
moved from Kingston to Cobourg in 1844, and from Cobourg to Toronto
in 1846. In Toronto its first location was on Bay Street, one door south
of Wellington Street, but a move was made in 1849 to the Albany Cham
bers at the corner of King and York Streets. Now in 1852, it was estab
lished in the Normal School, its home for sixty years.
Housed in the new building, too, was the Educational Depository
a provincial store handling educational books, maps, and supplies, for
sale to teachers, school boards, and libraries. Books to the value of
$239,795, or about $12,000 a year, in addition to maps and other equipment,
were imported for the Education Department in the twenty years after
Two rooms in the school were devoted to the purposes of a museum.
By 1857, this collection contained "School furniture and apparatus, casts
of antique statues, copies of paintings," amounting in all to over two
thousand objects. Correspondence was carried on with the British
Museum as to the best method of arrangement and display. The museum
was visited by the students at specified hours, and was open to the gen
eral public without charge.
The grounds surrounding the School received early attention. The
area was levelled and drained, and plots were set apart for a botanical
garden, a fruit and vegetable garden, and a small arboretum for foreign
and domestic shrubs; two acres were reserved for agricultural experi
ments. William Mundie, of Hamilton, was placed in charge of the grounds,
and was able to report in the autumn of 1853 that the grass had done
remarkably well, that the shrubs and trees were well established, and
that the show of annual and other summer flowers had made the grounds
gay during the whole season.
In 1853, the year following the move to new quarters, Henry Hind
was succeeded as second master by the Rev. William Ormiston. Ormiston,
then thirty-two years of age, was a graduate of Victoria College, a minis
ter of the Presbyterian Church, and local superintendent of schools at
Bowmanville. He remained on the staff of the Normal School only four
years, but he left a deep impression on the minds of the students. "His
utterances," one student recorded, "repeated one day, I could reproduce
verbatim the next. ... As a teacher he created within me a thirst for
teaching that can never be quelled."
Dr. Ryerson, busy man though he was, continued to take a deep inter
est in every phase of the School s activity. "It has, of course, fallen to me,"
he wrote, "to originate and devise everything connected with the estab
lishment and location of the Institution; the appointment of officers and
their duties; all the details of its government and system of management,
and measures for improving its efficiency and usefulness. . . . Though I
have taken no part in the teaching . . . the Masters have . . . had almost
daily consultations with me, respecting occurrences and matters con
nected with the Institution." In this close association with the School,
Ryerson was ably assisted by his Senior Clerk, J. George Hodgins.
Pioneering in co-education brought its problems as well as its praise.
In 1853 the introduction of the rule that students of opposite sexes should
not communicate with each other in any way brought a vigorous protest
from the male students. A meeting of the men was held in August of that
year and a strongly worded resolution was adopted expressing "utter
contempt at such outrageously inconsistent, and needless restrictions"
which were "entirely derogatory to that which every man ought to
possess, viz., common sense." "We . . . cannot conscientiously subject our
selves to the discipline and regulations of this Institution," the protest
continued, "until our social rights, liberty, freedom, and position as stu
dents are restored and acknowledged." Ryerson was equally determined
that the rule should be enforced, and three days later the students, realiz-
ing that "the intention of the rule" was "entirely different from what we
had thought," wrote regretting the unbecoming terms in which their
resolution had been couched.
But such a rule, as might be expected, was broken from time to time.
One luckless youth, Robertson reported, had "left at the steps of the hall
door of Mrs. Walker s boarding house occupied by female students, a note
addressed to one of the young ladies ... a mere scrap of paper contain
ing some very silly love verses." The Head Master recommended suspen
sion in this case for the remainder of the session, as the young man s
conduct "was not the result of temporary excitement or mere thought
lessness but was a cool and deliberate infringement of rules."
A young Scottish student exercised more discretion. Taking his seat
in the lecture room for the first time, he naturally glanced at the young
ladies who occupied the opposite end of the room. There to his pleasure
and surprise he recognized a former schoolmate from far away Scotland.
Restraining his first impulse to defy the rule, he sought advice from his
fellow-students who suggested that he ask Mr. Robertson for permission
to speak to her. The Head Master agreed, on the condition that their
conversation should take place in his presence. Alas for rules! When the
young lady entered the room, the young man addressed her in Gaelic, and
she replied in the same language. Robertson, who enjoyed a joke, had the
somewhat rare privilege of enjoying one upon himself.
Meanwhile the work of the school went on, and its influence became
apparent in improved teaching and in higher salaries for teachers. In
1846, Ryerson had estimated the average salary per teacher per year at
29. Little wonder that schools were then often depending for instruction
on those "whose Physical Disabilities, from age, render this mode of
obtaining a livelihood the only one suited to their Decaying Energies."
Six or seven years later, salaries ranging from 75 to 100 were offered for
teachers from the Normal School. Trustees were prompt to observe the
superior efficiency of such instructors. "There is," wrote a local super
intendent, "a greater improvement in our schools last year than in any
preceding year . . . this owing to the superior efficiency of the teacher
employed . . . [which efficiency] is principally owing to the Normal
So valuable did this training appear, that a decision was made to train
teachers for grammar or secondary schools as well. For this purpose, in
1857, a Model Grammar School, costing $39,269, was erected north of the
Model Schools, and facing Gerrard Street. The project was never a suc-
cess. Few students attended, the opinion being that the holding of a
university degree was sufficient evidence in itself of ability to teach in a
grammar school. The institution closed in 1863.
The year 1860 brought the visit to Canada of the Prince of Wales,
later King Edward VII. At half past three o clock on September 11, amid
drenching rain, the royal carriage splashed from the Horticultural Gar
dens (which the Prince had inaugurated by planting a maple tree) to
the Normal School building, where the distinguished guest received, and
replied to, an address of welcome in the presence of educational officials,
teachers-in-training, and the children of the Model Schools. The decora
tion and illumination of the school building on this occasion may well
have outshone all similar efforts in the city. Above the cupola waved the
Union Jack upon a 90-foot flag-pole; within the cupola, beneath a crimson
canopy, was a bust of Queen Victoria, illuminated by globes equipped
with reflectors, so as to reflect the profile of Her Majesty. The entire front
of the building was liberally festooned with crowns, coats of arms
mottoes, the Prince s plumes, and shields. In the windows were no less
than 1,200 transparencies, chiefly of the Rose, Shamrock, Thistle, and
Thomas Jaffray Robertson served the school with sound scholarship
and rugged force of character for nineteen years. It was a period when
knowledge and skills were synonymous with education. "He was a stal
wart who had little to do with the fine distinctions of psychology and
child study," wrote David Fotheringham, a student of the twelfth session,
"but much to do with the foundation principles of grammatical analysis
and synthesis, the immutable laws of the phenomena of physical geog
raphy, and the erection of a clearly defined skeleton of ancient and
modern history on which, at their leisure, his students could build the
full, symmetrical story of man s life, labours, and progress on the earth."
During his headmastership at the Normal School, a system of object
teaching was introduced in the Model Schools. Advocated by Pestalozzi
and adapted for English schools by the Mayos of London, this system of
instruction by "things not words" attracted the special attention of
visitors. "Having heard of the perfection to which these lessons had been
advanced in the Model School," reported the Commissioner of Public
Schools from Baltimore, Maryland, about 1862, "I was desirous of witness
ing the exercise. ... A picture [was] chosen upon which a camel and
cow were represented. Questions were asked relating to the class of
animals to which the camel belongs, the character and habits of those
animals; in what they were alike, in what unlike; the peculiarities of the
cow and its uses; those of the camel and the countries in which it lived.
The little pupils described with surprising accuracy, the qualities that
adapted the camel to the climate and conditions of the countries it in
habits, its use in bearing burdens and in crossing deserts, the peculiarity
of its stomach, in the cells of which the animal carries water for several
days, the adaptation of the cushion-like arrangement of its foot to the
sand or dust of the desert. The answers were quickly given, and if there
was any hesitation in the class it was removed by the encouraging voice
of the teacher."
The same visitor observed the recitation of the class in history. It
was so well done that he asked the teacher what text-book she used. She
replied that she used all the books in history she could procure, and from
them prepared herself for a conversational lecture with the class. "The
whole system of the school," concluded the Commissioner, "seemed to me
to be a sort of conversational story telling process, in which the minds of
the hearers were kept in continual excitement, and the interest prolonged
by their being made parties in the free interchange of thought."
Another visitor was Edward A. Sheldon of Oswego, N. Y. So im
pressed was he, in 1860, with the system of object teaching in the Model
School of Toronto, that he returned home determined to introduce a
similar system in American schools. His efforts resulted in the establish
ment of the famous Oswego Normal School, through the influence of
which, Pestalozzian methods were carried to all parts of the continent.
During the winter of 1865-66, Robertson was granted leave of absence
on account of failing health. He died on September 26, 1866, at the age of
sixty-two after nineteen years of useful service to Upper Canada. He was
buried in St. James Cemetery, Toronto.
Years of Transition
R. JOHN HERBERT SANGSTER, Mathematical and Science
Master in the Normal School since 1858, succeeded T. J. Robertson as
principal. Dr. Sangster was thoroughly acquainted with the institution,
having been a student of the first session, and a teacher in the Model
School. A prodigous worker, he had taught, had prepared text-books on
Algebra, Arithmetic, Chemistry, and Natural History, had gained the
degree of Master of Arts, and had qualified as a medical doctor, before
becoming Head Master of the Normal School at the age of thirty-five. His
portrait reproduced in this booklet was said to be very like him when it
was painted in 1897, but not like the man who served as principal from
1866-1871, when those students who were fond of mathematics felt safe,
but those who were not, were in dread of being struck by his lightning.
He was young, intense, and persevering, working hard himself, and
making his students work. But he was held in high esteem, and his classes
retained pleasant recollections of his lectures.
The students entering Normal School during the fifties and sixties
were none too well prepared, and the staff spent more time teaching
students what they were to teach than how they were to teach it. "It is
conceded by all who have devoted any attention to the subject," wrote
Dr. Sangster, "that to teach well one must be possessed of adequate
knowledge; in a word, must be well-informed; and as more than nine-
tenths of those who apply for admission to Normal School do not possess
anything like the amount of information and general knowledge which
the advancing spirit of the age very properly demands of those who
would become Educators of youth, the Normal School Masters are com
pelled to Supplement, by Lectures on the different Branches of Study
embraced in an ordinary English education, the early training or want
of training, of those who enter its walls."
Two sessions were still held each year from January to June, and
from August to December. Girls over sixteen years of age, and men over
eighteen years, were enrolled upon presenting certificates of moral char
acter, and upon passing the entrance examinations held on the third and
fourth days after the opening of the session. Upon an average, one student
in ten was sent back for further preparation. Term tests were conducted
every six weeks, and those falling behind in their work were required
to withdraw. About four-fifths of those admitted reached the final exam
inations, and of this group about five-sixths obtained certificates. Students
were classified in two divisions senior and junior. In the senior group
were graduates of a previous session at the School, and a few newcomers
of superior attainments. Observation and practice teaching were done in
the Model School, each student being graded from one, implying great
excellence, to six, representing complete failure.
The Normal School buildings at this time comprised three sections.
To the south, facing Gould Street, was the main front block, topped by
its cupola, and backed by its theatre or assembly hall. To the north was a
centre block,one storey in height, housing the elementary Model Schools
for girls and boys. North of that again, was the Model Grammar School,
a rectangular structure with the longer axis running north and south,
and having two small wings projecting to the east and west. From each of
these wings extended a long wooden shed built to provide play space for
Model School pupils.
With the closing of the Model Grammar School in 1863, the upper
storey of its building was occupied by Normal students, while the lower
storey may have accommodated an overflow of pupils from the elemen
tary Model Schools. In 1871 the Model Schools in the centre were en
larged, becoming a building 180 feet by 77 feet. When this extra space
became available in November, the Model School pupils were transferred
to it from the north block, which was then devoted to the sole use of the
Normal School. The more imposing south block, facing Gould Street,
continued to house the Education Department, the Depository, and the
After Confederation, a change occurred in the control of public
buildings. In 1869 responsibility for maintenance of the Normal School
property passed to the Ontario Department of Public Works. When its
architect examined the buildings he reported that the roofs were leaking,
the plank walks were in a rotting condition, and the buildings were gener
ally out of repair; the buildings had been too far distant from the seat of
government to receive the attention constantly required. Steps were
taken to put the property in shape, and adequate funds for maintenance
were arranged. In all, the capital expenditure for the Education Depart
ment and the Normal and Model Schools from 1867 to 1904 amounted to
Although Dr. Sangster was discharging his duties to the general
satisfaction of the students, staff, and Education Department, he decided
in 1871 to resign his post as principal, and to devote his life to the prac
tice of medicine. "My work," he wrote, "appears to have lost much of the
charm for me which it heretofore possessed . . . my duties . grow
irksome and wearing." Sangster s resignation "was a loss to the teachers
and the whole Province," wrote one inspector of schools. "His lectures on
Education and methods of teaching, when he was Head Master, were
more than worth the time and expense of the session."
Dr. H. W. Davies, clergyman and grammarian, was appointed princi
pal when Dr. Sangster relinquished the position. A graduate of Trinity
College and former headmaster of the Cornwall Grammar School, Dr.
Davies, at the age of thirty-two, had come to the Normal School as English
Master in 1866. An authoritarian, the new Head Master with his red hair
and quick temper to match, was a memorable figure to students of the
day. In questions of discipline he appears to have been influenced in part
by a desire to allow students greater freedom, and in part by a sturdy
determination to enforce the rules laid down by the Board twenty-five
years earlier. But his keen interest in his students as individuals and his
essential kindness caused graduates of the School in after years to recall
"his genial smile and pleasant countenance" with warm regard.
One of the students attending the forty-ninth session from January
to June 1873, was Robert Barr. After teaching in Kent and Essex counties,
and working on the editorial staff of The Detroit Free Press, Barr moved
to England, where he pursued the profession of novelist. In one of his
books, The Measure of the Rule, he pictured life at the Toronto Normal
School in the seventies. So thinly did he disguise his descriptions of
people and events, that readers familiar with the School readily linked
actual names with the fictitious ones used in the novel. The book is
pleasantly old-fashioned in style, and is somewhat melodramatic in its
ending. To anyone interested in Toronto of yesteryear and the Normal
School of the time, it can be unreservedly recommended.
Dr. Davies principalship extended over thirteen years, and during
that time the school faced many problems. The period was one of transi
tion. Dr. J. M. McCutcheon in his Public Education in Ontario (1941)
observes that the pioneer period in the provincial schools was character
ized by emphasis upon the acquisition of knowledge by the pupil, chiefly
through memory. In the early seventies, the same author notes, there
began the second stage in the development of elementary education
a stage when the main emphasis shifted to methods of instruction. This
new interest in methodology came at a time when high-school graduates
entering Normal School were much better educated than those of earlier
years, and stood, therefore, less in need of academic instruction than in
the days of Robertson and Sangster. Critics called upon the Normal
School to reduce its emphasis upon academic work and to increase its
attention to methods of teaching. Among these critics was one of the
School s own graduates of the fourth session, Dr. J. A. McLellan, an
Inspector of High Schools. He was sent to visit schools in Massachusetts
and New York in 1882 to inquire into methods of teacher education.
On his return, he drew up a number of recommendations emphasizing
the importance of increased professional training. He became Director
of Normal Schools for several years, and his influence increased the
efficiency of methods in Toronto and in Ottawa, where a Normal School
had been opened in 1875.
A re-organization of the training of teachers had taken place in On
tario in 1877, when a system of local Model Schools had been established
throughout the Province. In subsequent years, teachers attended a local
Model School, taught for a year or more, and then proceeded to the Nor
mal School in Ottawa or Toronto. The student body of the Normal School
thus became a group of experienced teachers.
Running parallel to the progress of the Normal School through the
years had been the progress of the Model School. The Boys School
opened in 1848 under Charles Lowey, who died a few months later. Suc
ceeding Head Masters were: Archibald McCallum (1848-58) ; David
Fotheringham (1858); James Carlyle (1858-71); James L. Hughes (1871-
74); William Scott (1874-82); Charles Clarkson (1882-86). Of these men,
Dr. Carlyle (a relative of Thomas Carlyle, the Sage of Chelsea) became
Mathematical Master of the Normal School from 1871 to 1893; James L.
Hughes, a graduate of the Normal School in 1865, became Chief Inspector
of Public Schools in Toronto at the age of twenty-nine, a position which
he held for many years; William Scott became fifth principal of Toronto
Normal School (1898-1918). The Girls School opened in 1852, with
Mrs. Dorcas Clark as Head Mistress. Upon her retirement in 1865, the
position was held by Miss M. Adams (1865-66), Mrs. Martha Cullen
(1867-84), and Miss M. T. Scott (1884-1900).
For the help and encouragement given by these leaders and their
associates in the Model Schools, the graduates of the teacher-training
school expressed over the years their grateful thanks. One headmaster,
James L. Hughes, however, had this to say: "I was trained to believe that
my supreme duty was to criticize destructively the teaching of the Normal
School students while they were teaching their practice lessons in the
Model School. I was told to point out to them the errors they made as the
best means of making them good teachers. I have no sympathy with such
a course now, and I am glad that I -saw the great evils of this method of
training before I was appointed Inspector of Schools."*
This chapter of transition would be incomplete without mention of
the passing of Dr. Egerton Ryerson from the educational scene. The
Chief Superintendent retired in 1876, the year in which authority in
educational matters was transferred to a Minister of the Crown. Dr.
Ryerson lived to enjoy his retirement for six years, his death occurring
February 19, 1882. Seven years later, when a monument was unveiled in
his memory on the grounds of the Normal School, the Minister of Educa
tion of the day spoke thus of Ryerson: "With a patriotism which no man
could fail to appreciate, with a tenacity of purpose which no difficulty
could daunt, he devoted his life to one purpose, the establishment of a
school system which could fully meet the wants of a free, strong, and
Pierce, L.: Fifty Years of Public Service, A Life of James L. Hughes, p. 66.
S. B. Gundy, Oxford University Press, Toronto, 1924. Quoted by kind permis
sion of Dr. Pierce.
Turn of the Century
WE MAY, THEREFORE, as the Alumni of this institution
[Toronto Normal School] . . . rejoice to-night that its influence has been
felt in every corner of Ontario, and possibly of the Dominion, and as
loyalty to the country was always an essential part of our instruction, I
now propose that we begin the proceedings of this evening by drinking to
the health of Her Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria. I give The Queen
God bless Her. "
As the speaker, the Hon. George W Ross, Minister of Education
raised his glass, a hundred schoolmen of the Province rose in their places
in the banquet room of the Rossin House, Toronto, to honour their sover
eign. The orchestra struck up the National Anthem, and the fiftieth birth
day party of the Toronto Normal School was well under way. It was the
night of November 2, 1897, and the Jubilee Banquet was the concluding
event of an anniversary programme that had extended over three days.
Distinguished graduates were out in force. The Minister of Education
who graced the chair was a student of 69; John Millar, Deputy Minister
of Education, had attended in 62; vice-chairmen of the banquet Princi
pal Archibald MacMurchy of Jarvis Collegiate and Professor J. G. Hume
of the University of Toronto were representing respectively the students
attending before and after 1875.
Col. Sam Hughes, M.P., 68, responded to the toast of "Army, Navy,
and Volunteers." Principal MacMurchy, 55, proposed "Higher Educa
tion," to which Dr. S. P. Robins, 52, Principal of McGill Normal School,
made reply. Among alumni acknowledging Dr. J. H. Sangster s toast to
"The Ex-Students" was Inspector John Dearness, 71, who, in 1947, is
still keenly interested in the educational life of the Province.
The Jubilee celebration clearly demonstrated the affection of former
students for their Normal School. Opening with a service in the Metro
politan Church, at which the Rev. Dr. E. H. Dewart a student of the
first session was preacher, the programme also included two afternoons
of reminiscent addresses, and a musical evening. Careful record was kept
of all events, and an account of the celebration published in book form
provides a mine of fact regarding the School s early years.
Thomas Kirkland was principal at this time. An Irishman by birth,
he had graduated from the Dublin Normal School before coming to
Canada in 1854. After teaching in public and grammar schools, and
securing his M. A. from the University of Toronto, he became science
master of the Normal School in 1871. Upon the resignation of Dr. Davies
in December, 1884, Mr. Kirkland became principal; at the same time, Dr.
James Carlyle, head master of the Boys Model School, became his assist
ant. "As now constituted," reads the Minister s Report of 1885, "these
two teachers do the work formerly done by three without any deteriora
tion as to efficiency or management."
What was memorable about Mr. Kirkland? Records remind us of
his industry, of his text-books, of his knowledge of botany and chemistry,
but the unanimous reply of former students is: "His kindness!" Former
members of his staff say simply, "He was our friend."
The school itself was not at a high point in its history. The shift of
emphasis from academic work to professional study had thinned the in
tellectual fare. New subjects in the elementary curriculum subjects
such as nature study, manual training, household science, and hygiene-
found little or no place in the Normal School programme. The practice of
lecturing to a hundred or more students ranged on tiered seats in a large
gallery classroom militated against inspirational teaching.
Dr. J. H. Putman, late Chief Inspector of Schools, Ottawa, who
attended in 1887, describes the course in his memoirs as flat and uninter
esting. E. E. Gibbs, former principal of Chesley Avenue School, London,
and a student in the autumn of 1890, has more favourable memories: "I
found that I was a much better teacher after my term at Toronto Normal,
and shall never forget the help and inspiration I received while there. I
liked the friendly talks about how to manage a school, and the casual
remark, Do what we tell you, here, and when you get a school of your
own, do as you please. I have always followed that advice! One day when
Dr. Carlyle was taking up School Management with us he asked Ward,
the humorist of the class, a question. Ward hesitated a long time, and the
Doctor remarked, If you do not answer, Mr. Ward, the class will think
you do not know. Ward replied, Dr. Carlyle, if I do answer, they will
know that I do not know. "
The Model School was in its heyday in the nineties. Dr. J. A. Mc-
Lellan, in a departmental report, states that the practice school "is, I
believe, the best we have had in the history of the Normal School." Dr.
Putman has this to say: "Angus Mclntosh, the headmaster, and Miss Scott,
the headmistress, were shining examples of what elementary school
teachers could and should be. Their poise, their naturalness of manner,
the ease with which they controlled, their skill in questioning, the way
they used the pupils answers, the little use they made of text-books made
young teachers feel that, after all, there was much to be learned about the
art of teaching."*
In 1885, the training of kindergarten teachers became a feature of the
Normal School programme. The first kindergarten in Toronto had been
established in 1882 under the enthusiastic leadership of Dr. J. L. Hughes,
Chief Inspector of the City s public schools. Miss Bessie Hailman was the
first Kindergarten Directress in the Normal School, 1885-86; Miss C. M. C.
Hart was the second, 1886-92; and Miss Mary E. Macintyre was the third,
Requirements for entrance to Normal School remained substantially
unchanged for thirty years after 1877, and included an academic second
class certificate, a session at a County Model School, and one year s suc
cessful teaching experience. From 1875 to 1890, it was possible to qualify
for a first class certificate by attending two sessions at Normal School.
After 1890, the Provincial School of Pedagogy, which was organized to
give professional training to teachers of secondary schools, took over the
granting of first class certificates; this institution admitted students with
Senior Leaving certificates or university degrees. The School of Pedagogy
met in the theatre of the Toronto Normal School, and used its Model
School, until the training of teachers for secondary schools passed to the
Ontario Normal College, Hamilton, in 1897.
The history of the Toronto Normal School continued to be written in
brick and mortar. In 1882, changes were made in the east end of the front
building (partly vacant since the Depository had been discontinued) for
the accommodation of the Ontario School of Art and Design, which had
occupied rooms on King Street West since its beginning in 1876. In 1888, a
second storey was added to the centre building which housed the Model
* Putman, J. H.: Fifty Years at School, pp. 10, 11. Quoted by kind permission of
the publishers, Clarke, Irwin and Company Limited.
Schools. At the same time the old play sheds were removed a great
improvement from "an ornamental and sanitary point of view." In 1892,
the contract was let for the construction of the iron fence around the
The greatest change in the buildings took place, however, in 1896,
when a third storey was added to the south block. This addition, involving
the loss of the old cupola and the substitution of the present tower, pro
vided spacious halls connected by archways on the third floor, for use as
art and picture galleries. Another alteration occurred in 1902, when the
north building, then housing the Normal School proper, was enlarged by
wings on both east and west sides, each two storeys in height. The length
of this building now ran east and west, instead of north and south.
Toronto Normal and Model Schools, with play sheds, 1860
Courtesy T. A. Reed, Esq.
Thomas Kirkland died at the close of 1898, just as he was preparing
an address of welcome for the incoming class of the new year. He was
succeeded by William Scott, B. A., a graduate of the School in 1868, and its
vice-principal since 1894. Born in Scotland, the new principal had come to
Canada as a boy, had begun teaching at the age of sixteen, and had later
served on the staff of the Boys Model School, first as teacher and then as
headmaster. Graduating from the University of Toronto, he taught in the
Ottawa Normal School for twelve years before his transfer to Toronto on
the retirement of Dr. Carlyle.
William Scott was a man of dignified and kindly manner. He was a
careful organizer and possessed a strong and orderly mind. By act and
precept he implanted in his students the principle, "A well-taught school
is a well-disciplined school." The discipline which he advocated was to be
secured through the teacher s personality and through the stimulus of
good teaching. "When minds are busy there is no time for noisy mischief."
In his opinion, character was based upon integrity, and integrity gave
power to meet all situations without fear. "To keep an engagement
punctually is not a small matter," he said, "for it gives me confidence that
I can do what I will do."
Mr. Scott s methods of teaching were particularly effective. He based
the study of botany and geography on well-planned field excursions,
which his students recall with special pleasure. He was an authority on
the identification of Canadian plants, and an enthusiastic collector of
specimens of Canadian flora. His approach to elementary arithmetic was
a revelation to young teachers who had floundered and failed in the use of
older methods. "Make an end to juggling with rules and symbols; base
your methods in teaching number on the child s natural delight in con
crete things," was one of his favourite admonitions.
Though strict in discipline, Mr. Scott took a sympathetic interest in
the welfare of his students. From one teacher comes a memory of help
graciously given with a difficult lesson assignment; from another, treas
ured words of kind but sturdy counsel from Mr. Scott upon the occasion of
her father s death. Remembered, too, is the hospitality of the Principal
and his wife, when they entertained the students to tea each year at their
Manual Training and Household Science were attracting the attention
of educationists at the turn of the century. In Principal Scott s report in
1901, we read: "Rooms are required for Manual Training and Domestic
Science. No attempt is now made to make the students acquainted with
the rudiments of Manual Training. The ladies receive training in House
hold Science; but the room they use, which is at a distance from the
school is quite inadequate to accommodate so large a number with com
fort." A year later, Inspector Leake reported that manual training "is
now in progress at each of the three Normal Schools Toronto, Ottawa,
and London." (The London Normal School had been opened in 1900.)
Miss Nina Ewing and Mrs. Emma MacBeth were early instructors in
Household Science and Needlework. James H. Wilkinson was the first
instructor in Manual Training.
In 1903, the long-standing practice of holding two sessions of the
Normal School each year came to an end, and one session extending from
September to June became the rule. The Minister s Report for 1904 points
out that the lengthened session was designed to provide opportunity not
only for more practice teaching, but for review of academic work as well.
In 1908, Dr. F. W. Merchant was appointed Inspector of Normal
Schools, and, under his leadership the next eight years brought a complete
re-organization of teacher-training for the elementary schools of Ontario.
In the first place, most of the Model Schools, which had prepared teachers
for third-class certificates, were abolished. Three new Normal Schools
were opened in 1908 at Hamilton, Peterborough, and Stratford and a
fourth, at North Bay, in 1909. The staff of the Toronto Normal School pro
vided two principals for the Stratford School, in the persons of W. H.
Elliott and Dr. S. Silcox; A. C. Casselman, also of Toronto, became
principal in North Bay.
The Normal Schools were now training some students without
previous experience in teaching, and a more extended course in observa
tion and practice teaching became necessary. For some years classes were
divided into two sections, one for those students with experience, and the
other for those who had not previously been teachers. The Model School
no longer provided all the practice required in Toronto, and arrangements
were made for the use of selected rooms in the city system. Rural class
rooms were also added to the practice schedule. At first the rural schools
were used only for a short time in the spring, but later they were affiliated
with the Normal School for the whole session.
Methods of instruction in the Normal School also changed. The lectur
ing of large classes came to an end; the School was divided into forms,
and additional masters were appointed. "The theory now is," wrote Dr.
Merchant in the Minister s Report of 1915, ; that every Normal School
master s lesson should be a model of method in presentation as well as a
type of the proper selection of subject matter." Less encouragement was
given to laying down definite and detailed lines of procedure, and more
emphasis was placed upon the discussion of principles and their applica
tion to concrete educational problems.
The publication of a series of manuals, in the various subject fields,
for the guidance of teachers and teachers-in-training, was begun around
1910. These manuals were ably written, and had an immediate effect that
was favourable in the Normal Schools. Over the years, however, despite
revision, they tended to limit professional reading, and to narrow the
outlook of the students, if not of the staff itself.
In 1914 a new department for training Kindergarten-Primary teach
ers was established in the Toronto Normal School. Its purpose was to
bring into closer relationship, the Kindergarten and the other grades of
the public school, Miss Mary E. Macintyre was senior instructor in Kin
dergarten Principles in this course, and associated with her as assistant
instructors were Misses Ellen Cody, Lilian B. Harding, Elizabeth R.
Cringan, M. Maude Watterworth, and Mabel E. Hodgins. Following Miss
Macintyre s retirement in 1932, Miss Hodgins became fourth Kinder
garten Directress of the Model School and instructor of the Kindergarten-
The years of the First Great War brought their changes in the halls
of the Normal School. The honour rolls of both Normal and Model Schools
lengthened as the months passed by. Towards the close of the war,
Principal Scott s health failed, and in September, 1918, Dr. S. J. Radcliffe,
Principal of London Normal School, came to Toronto as Acting Principal.
Between Two Wars
/XLTHOUGH THE IMPOSING BUILDING on Gould Street was
usually known as the Normal School, the School itself had very early
been relegated to premises in the rear. The towered south block was
occupied by the Education Offices, by the Depository, by an art gallery,
by a museum, by the Art School, by the Ontario Historical Society, and
after the Department of Education had moved to the Parliament Build
ings in 1912 by the Workmen s Compensation Board. In 1919, the Normal
School, sadly crowded in the north block where it had been since 1863,
secured two rooms in the south building for its own use. The camel s foot
was in the tent. Two years later, when the Compensation Board and the
College of Art both moved to new quarters, the teachers-in-training fell
heir to the space vacated. By 1921, the School s front door was its own.
The students were coming into their own in another way. Dr. Rad-
cliffe s experience as principal, first of London Collegiate, and later of
London Normal School, had acquainted him with the hopes and enthus
iasms of young people. During his principalship the view that Normal
students were special persons required to act in a special way underwent
a change. The social life of the School increased in importance. Student
parties were held even dances. Visits to other Normal School centres
were arranged with special programmes of literary and athletic events.
"Be not the first by whom the new are tried." The Normal School
heeded this caution in the matter of athletic costumes. Girls uniforms
changed from pleated skirts to bloomers, from middies to sweaters, from
sweaters with sleeves to sweaters without sleeves, to the accompaniment
of much complaint from Mrs. Grundy, who fought every inch of her re
treat. But just as the promenade gave way to the dance, so the School
moved closer to the accepted patterns of the day in secondary school and
Miss Nina Ewing was formally appointed consultant and adviser to
the girls in attendance in 1919, when a similar appointment was made
in each of the Normal Schools. Miss Ewing had been with the school
since 1902; she was now called Dean of Women. The duties of this office
were discharged, in later years, by Miss Mabel E. Hay (1931-44) ; Mrs.
F. G. Russell (1944-46); and Mrs. E. H. McKone.
The end of the First Great War brought the "Soldier Year" to the
school in 1919-20. Some eighty men with service in the forces enrolled,
most of them in the regular course, although a group specialized in manual
training. Great though the change was from their experience overseas,
the service-men completed a thoroughly successful year, and now hold
responsible positions in the schools of the Province. At the annual re
unions which they held for many years, members of this group were
proud to have, as their guest of honour, Dr. H. J. Cody, who was Minister
of Education when they were admitted to Normal School, and who took
a keen interest in their progress.
Candidates for First-Class certificates were once more included in
the Normal Schools enrolment after 1919, as the Faculties of Education in
Toronto and Kingston were abolished in 1920 to be superseded by the
Ontario College of Education. Fifty-seven First-Class students came to
Toronto in 1920-21, with 178 candidates for the Second-Class certificate.
To provide opportunities for practice with high school classes, a Fifth
Form was added to the Model School.
Through these years, Dr. Radcliffe gave cheerful and inspiring
leadership to the School. His love of English literature had its influence
on all his students. "Have you seen an apple orchard in the spring?" How
often the opening line of that poem stirred new wonder in the beauty of
verse and blossoms! "Pink buds pouting at the light, crumpled petals baby
white! Just to touch them a delight, in the spring." All over the Province,
graduates catching the whiff of lilac, went down with him "to Kew in
lilac time." Lucky were the students who travelled the old red Readers
with Dr. Radcliffe. His relation to his classes is best expressed by a short
editorial in the students paper, The Pedagogian, of April, 1924. "We are
delighted to have Dr. Radcliffe with us again. Although we have dozens of
the very finest teachers, we miss Dr. Radcliffe if he is out of our sight for
The experiment of a two-year course in the Normal School began
with the class of 1927-28. Increasing enrolments, coming to a peak with
671 at Toronto in 1924-25, led to a decision to increase the length of train
ing. The second year was added, not to follow immediately upon the first,
but to come after an interval of practical experience. "This is only an
au revoir," wrote Dr. Radcliffe in his message to the students of 1928, "we
expect to see you not later than four years from next September. 1
Dr. Radcliffe did not live to welcome the second-year group on their
return. His sudden death on September 2, 1929, was a shock to staff mem
bers and former students, in whose hearts his memory is ever green. "His
life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might
stand up and say to all the world, This was a man!
David Whyte, B. A., B. Paed., Principal of the Hamilton Normal
School, was transferred to Toronto to succeed Dr. Radcliffe. Mr. Whyte
was no stranger to the School, having served it as science master for
seventeen years before his appointment to Hamilton in 1926. A thorough
teacher, an able speaker, and a competent administrator, Mr. Whyte gave
of his best in the direction of the School for the next nine years. It was not
an easy period, for economic depression, a surplus of teachers, and the
return of the second-year group, combined to present pressing problems.
The first of the second-year students came to the School in September,
1930, when a group of sixteen enrolled. In 1933-34, after a year s postpone
ment, return was made obligatory. Immediately the total enrolment in
Toronto leaped to 666. With six different groups first and second years
in each of the First Class, Second Class, and Kindergarten-Primary
courses the School s organization became the most complex in its his
tory. For one year it lasted; then, in the summer of 1934, a change of
requirements was announced. The second-year course was abandoned,
and in its place were substituted standing in five university subjects or
their equivalent and a summer course in educational methods.
Other changes followed. A medical examination, conducted by doctors
appointed by the Department of Education in co-operation with the
Department of Health, became obligatory in 1935 for each student
admitted to a course in teacher-training. A system of passing the better
students on the basis of term records was introduced in the same year.
The addition of several weeks of continuous observation and practice,
both urban and rural, to the schedule of single practice lessons was a for
ward step in 1936-37.
The social life of the school was strongly upheld under Mr. Whyte.
The staff teas in the library became an institution, and inter-Normal
meets were held at the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, as well
as at other Normal Schools. No school team ever had a more enthusiastic
supporter than Mr. Whyte. At the banquet which followed each game,
Principals Through the Century
Top row, left to right: T. J. Robertson, M.A. (1847-1866); J. H. Sangster, M.A., M. D. (1866-
1871); H. W. Davies. D.D. (1871-1884). Centre row, left to right: T. Kirkland, M.A. (1884-1898);
S. J. Radcliffe, B.A., D.Paed. (1918-1929). Bottom row, left to right:
(1929-1938); T. Mustard, M.A., B.Paed. (1938-1939); H. E. Elborn,
M.A.. B.Paed. (1939- )
W. Scott, B.A. (1899-1918)
D. Whyte, B.A., B.Paed.
his speech was a masterpiece with stories eagerly anticipated and
In September, 1938, Mr. Whyte retired, having served the School as
master and principal for a total of twenty-six years. "Among our fondest
recollections," reads one of the Year-books, "will be those memories we
possess of our Principal, Mr. Whyte. He was a daily inspiration to us. We
saw him in many situations, some of them trying indeed, but he was ever
the same kindly gracious, and patient." His portrait, painted by Charles
MacGregor, was presented by his former students to the School in the
autumn of 1940. On that occasion, the Honourable Duncan McArthur,
Minister of Education, made the chief address, paying tribute to Mr.
Whyte s valuable contribution to the training of teachers in Ontario.
Mr. Whyte was succeeded as principal by Thornton Mustard, M. A.,
B. Paed., who had been identified with the School for twenty-eight years.
First as a teacher in the Model School, then as its headmaster, and then as
English Master in the Normal School, he had won a wide-spread reputa
tion as a teacher of rare skill. During the school years 1936-38, he had been
associated with Stanley A. Watson, B. A., Public School Principal,
Toronto, in drafting a new programme of studies for public and separate
schools. For this work Mr. Mustard had been relieved of teaching duties
at the Normal School for two years. "Owing largely to his enthusiasm,
eloquence, and human sympathy," wrote Dr. H. E. Amoss, Director of Pro
fessional Training, "there was effected with a minimum of delay and
confusion what might well be termed a bloodless revolution in the public
and separate school system of teaching in the Province. Bonds of formal-
istic education were shattered, and both teachers and pupils ushered
into a new world of freedom and responsibility."
Mr. Mustard, as principal, had many plans for the school, and during
1938-39, he began to carry some of these into effect. Students were given
charge of the opening exercises, interest or hobby groups were organized
in connection with the Literary Society, a cafeteria was established for
the use of Normal students and pupils of the Model School, and practice
teaching arrangements were expanded to make use of many classrooms
selected from a large number of city schools. In the midst of this activity,
his work was tragically cut short. On his return journey from a brief
holiday in England, he lost his life when the Athenia was torpedoed on
September 3, 1939, at the beginning of the Second Great War. At the
Memorial Service held in October, his message to his last class of students
was read: "May it be yours," he wrote, "to see the light of understanding
dawn in children s eyes, to kindle in children s hearts and minds the fires
of ambition, enthusiasm, and zeal, May you share helpfully in the life of
the community remembering that not what you get but what you give
makes you rich indeed."
On April 17, 1941, the theatre of the Normal School building was
filled with friends of Thornton Mustard, to witness the unveiling of his
portrait, and to hear the tribute of his close associate, Stanley Watson.
The portrait, painted by Charles MacGregor, was presented by the
teachers of Ontario in memory of one who had served education well.
"He won success by his unceasing energy, his ability, his cheerfulness
and his courage, but it was success which meant not personal gain, but
a richer life for the children of the Province."
A. OR six YEARS the shadow of. the Second Great War lay
on the Toronto Normal School. First came the tragic loss of Thornton
Mustard. Then came the enlistment of graduates in the armed forces,
with tidings from time to time and from distant lands of former students
who had made the supreme sacrifice. One of these, F/L Malcolm Mclver,
D. F. C., was valedictorian of the year 1940-41, and son of Murdoch
Mclver of the School s Soldier Year, 1919-20.
In the summer of 1941, the influence of the conflict was felt by
the School in another way. A call came from the Department of National
Defence for quarters in Toronto for Initial Training School No. 6, in
connection with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The
Government of Ontario promptly offered the buildings of the Normal
and Model Schools and arrangements were quickly completed for the
transfer of the teacher-training institution to the building known as
the Earl Kitchener Public School. This three-storey building of seven
teen rooms, located at 870 Pape Avenue in the Township of East York,
was made available through the co-operation of the Toronto Board of
Education. Though lacking an adequate auditorium, and having no
gymnasium, the building provided reasonably satisfactory temporary
quarters for the Normal School.
H. E. Elborn, General Editor of Text-books in the Ontario Depart
ment of Education, had been appointed principal of the School in
October, 1939. It fell to his lot to supervise the move to the new building,
and to adjust the life and routine of the institution to its new surround
The Model School, sister institution of the Normal School for
ninety-three years, was disbanded at the time of the transfer to Pape
Avenue. Its pupils were absorbed in the public, separate, or private
schools of the city, and its teachers were either transferred to the staff
of Toronto Public Schools, or were assigned new duties under the De
partment of Education.
The Model School had played a valuable role in the history of
teacher-training in Ontario. Organized at a time when the common
schools of the community were not of high standard, it had provided,
as its name implied, a model for student-teachers to copy later in
schools of their own. By the twentieth century, the publicly supported
schools of the Province were well organized, well-housed, well-equipped,
and well-staffed, and consequently were in a position to provide facili
ties for teacher-training purposes. For that reason, special Model Schools
were not attached to the Normal Schools instituted in London, Hamilton,
North Bay, Peterborough, and Stratford. But the Model Schools in
Ottawa and Toronto continued to operate. They stood a little apart
from the city school systems; they had their own traditions and com
manded their own loyalties. When their buildings were taken over
during the war, families whose children had been educated in the
"Model" for several generations mourned the passing of what had be
come beloved institutions.
The place that the Toronto Normal Model School held in the hearts
of its "old boys and girls" had been shown in February, 1934, when a
reunion was held of its graduates of fifty or more years before. Sir
John Aird, Sir Henry Pellatt, and Col. A. E. Gooderham were among
former students who attended this party organized by Headmaster
F. M. McCordic in connection with Toronto s Centennial Year. "One
by one the old students appeared," reads a report in the Mail and
Empire of February 22, 1934, "looked quickly around the gathering
and then, with Hello Bill or Well, well, Charlie, began to renew the
acquaintances of more than half a century ago. There were those who
brought old prize books, others with old photographs and autograph
albums, and others with old reports. In one corner of the room were
the old registers. Grey heads bent over these yellowing volumes, pick
ing out who stood first in his class or laughing because they discovered
they stood last."
Headmasters of the Model School after the turn of the century
were: Angus Mclntosh (1887-1912); R. W. Murray (1913-15); Milton
A. Sorsoleil (1915-21); Thornton Mustard (1921-23); F. M. McCordic
(1923-40); and Adam McLeoti (1940-41). Of these, M. A. Sorsoleil later
became Deputy Minister of Welfare for Ontario, Thornton Mustard
became eighth principal of the Toronto Normal School, and Mr. McLeod
became Supervisor of Correspondence Courses in the Department of
Education. Two staff members often recalled by graduates of the school
are Thomas Porter and Charters Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe is now on the
staff of University of Toronto Schools, and keeps in close touch with
the "old boys" of the Model by post-card, circular letter, and informal
reunion. Former members of the staff who are now enjoying retirement
in Toronto are: Misses May K. Caulfield, Alice Harding, Lilian Harding,
A. F. Laven, and Mary E. Maclntyre; Messrs. F. M. McCordic, C. D.
Bouck, and E. H. Price. The staff of the Model School during its final
year, 1940-41, was composed of: A. McLeod, C. T. Sharpe, R. G. Kendall,
C. E. McMullen, Jessie I. Cross, Doris R. Soden, Jessie McKay, Rose Lynch,
Mrs. K. Crawford, Marion Evans, Jean Greig, Mrs. C. S. Burke, Elizabeth
Mitchell, M. Maude Watterworth, A. Elsie Sherin, and Mrs. Vera S.
Fuller. The following members of the Normal School staff were asso
ciated with the Model School: G. S. Apperley, D. W. Burns, E. Grace
Conover, Joicey M. Home, Mrs. Vera E. Russell.
The Toronto Normal School, 870 Pape Ave., Toronto
St. James Square, under the vigorous direction of the Commandant,
Group Captain J. Hanschett-Taylor, rapidly became an efficient air-
training centre. Auxiliary buildings sprang up around the permanent
blocks, and a great drill hall dominated the eastern portion of the grounds.
The old school-buildings were used as lecture rooms and dormitories.
"It is not a new experience to sleep in the Normal and Model Schools,"
said a former student who found himself quartered in one of his old
classrooms, "but it is a new experience to sleep there with a clear
Meanwhile two members of the Normal School staff were serving
in the forces Lt. Col. S. A. Watson and S/L G. S. Apperley as were
also two members of the Model School staff, W/C R. G. Kendall and
S/L C. E. McMullen.
Some changes were made in the training of teachers in the Province,
following the appointment, in 1939, of Dr. H. E. Amoss as Director of
Professional Training. The courses of study were revised, the number
of final examination papers was reduced to ten, the number of weeks
spent in continuous observation and practice teaching was increased
to four, the policy of inter-changing normal school masters and school
inspectors for periods of one or two years was introduced, and the
Primary Specialist Course was begun.
The Primary Specialist Course was established in 1939 to prepare
teachers for work in junior and senior kindergartens, and Grades I
and II. It is offered only at the Toronto Normal School, and applicants
are required to hold either a first-class teaching certificate or a degree
in arts. Proficiency in music, vocal and piano, is a further requirement
for admission. The course is strongly practical in its organization, eight
weeks of continuous teaching supplementing the usual schedule of
practice lessons. Students taking the course not only receive instruc
tion at the Normal School, but attend weekly lectures at the Institute
of Child Study, University of Toronto. Model School teachers who were
instructors on the first staff of the Primary Specialist Course were
Mrs. Claire Senior Burke, and Misses M. Maude Watterworth and
Elsie A. Sherin. Upon the transfer of the Normal School to Pape Avenue,
these three teachers were employed in Wilkinson Public School where
they continued to assist with the training of students in the Primary
Specialist Course. Mrs. Burke in 1947 continues as instructress in
Kindergarten Methods on the staff of the Normal School, and directress
of the morning Kindergarten in Wilkinson School. Mrs. Emerson
Robertson (nee M. Maude Watterworth) died in June, 1946, and Miss
A. E. Sherin in November of the same year.
Definite efforts have been made in recent years to keep the Normal
School in close touch with the teaching field. One means used has been
the interchange of masters and inspectors. A second method has been
the holding of regular conferences between teachers in the Normal
School and inspectors in surrounding counties and urban centres. Dis
cussions at these meetings have done much to acquaint the two groups
with the problems and viewpoints of those concerned with the pre-
service and in-service training of teachers.
With the coming of peace, the Toronto Normal School has continued
to occupy its temporary quarters on Pape Avenue, its former buildings
now being used by the Toronto Training and Re-establishment Institute,
where personnel discharged from the forces are equipped, through
various courses, to earn a living in the commercial, industrial, or pro
fessional world. The Director of the Institute is Lt. Col. F. H. Wood,
the Registrar is Major J. C. Boylen, and the Regional Director of Cana
dian Vocational Training for Ontario is H. H. Kerr. This book printed
by the School of Graphic Arts, one branch of the Institute, is evidence
not only of the practical instruction offered there, but of the cordial
relations existing between the Normal School and the educational
organization that occupies its former buildings.
The Normal School has had its own responsibility in the education
of men and women from the forces. Since 1945, thirty or forty students
each year have attended the School under the rehabilitation plan.
Unlike the class of 1919-20, none of these classes could be called the
"Soldier Year," as Navy, Army, and Air Force women as well as
men have been represented in the returned group. The high quality
of the work of these students during their training year, gives promise
of a valuable contribution to the schools of Ontario in the years ahead.
Members of the staff of the Toronto Normal School during the
1946-47 year were: H. E. Elborn, Dr. W. E. M. Aitken, R. A. Johnston,
E. A. Miller, C. A. Mustard, M. H. Park, A. M. Patterson, Miss F. F.
Halliday, Miss M. C. Young, Miss J. L. Merchant, Miss J. M. Home,
Mrs. F. G. Russell, Mrs. E. H. McKone, W. L. Strieker, D. W. Burns,
Mrs. C. S. Burke and Miss A. E. Sherin. Mr Miller died early in the
autumn of 1946, and Mr. H. E. Ricker, former principal of North Bay
Normal School acted as Science Master in his stead, from November,
1946, to June, 1947. Miss E. B. Rennie and Miss A. N. Dimytosh are
the secretaries of the School.
One hundred years is a long time in the history of public education
in any land. In the century from 1847 to 1947 the pioneer Normal School
of the Province has become one of a group of eight schools entrusted
with the training of teachers for the elementary schools, the University
of Ottawa Normal School having been opened in 1927. Two of these
sister Normal Schools are now headed by former masters of the Toronto
Normal School Dr. C. E. Mark, appointed principal in London in 1932,
and W. K. F. Kendrick, appointed principal of the Ottawa Normal
School in 1946.
But the Toronto Normal School has meant much more in the
educational history of Ontario than an institution for the training of
teachers. As the home of the Education Office for many years it was,
as Lord Elgin termed it, the seed-plot of the school system. In it,
diverse educational projects were nurtured until they became sturdy
enough for independent growth. Thus the collection of curios in the
corridors of the Normal School is but a memory, dwarfed by the Royal
Ontario Museum; the School of Art and Design has become the Ontario
College of Art; the copies of old masters and the plaster reproductions
of famous statuary, once the pride of the Normal School, are forgotten
now that original masterpieces are on view in the Art Gallery of
Toronto; experiments in cereal production, once a feature of the
School s grounds, are now the province of the Ontario Agricultural
College; the training of high school teachers, begun in the School in
1858, is now the function of the Ontario College of Education; books
once assembled in the building in St. James Square now form the
nucleus of the educational section of the Legislative Library. And so
the catalogue could go on. The Toronto Normal School was long not
only the seed-bed, but, as Ryerson described it, the main-spring of the
system of public instruction.
Those days are gone by, but the chief task of the school that of
teaching those who will teach our children remains one of first im
portance. In this history we have read much of staff members and
buildings of masters and masonry, if you will, but a school is more
than bricks and stone, more than its teachers; it is the sum of its staff,
students, and graduates. Just as those groups have won for the Toronto
Normal School, during the past century, the place it holds in the educa
tional life of the Province, so those groups to-day must uphold and
strive to improve the quality of the school s work in the years to come.
To men and women teaching or studying in its classrooms, or leaving
its halls for classrooms of their own, might be addressed the lines from
Newbolt s Clifton Chapel:
"Henceforth the School and you are one,
And what You are the race shall be."
Staff Through the Century
The persons listed below served on the teaching staff of the Toronto Normal
School at some period during the years from 1847 to 1947. Names of members on
the staff in November, 1947, are printed in italics.
Adair, Miss Mary, Kindergarten assist
Adams, Miss Annie, Model School tea
Adams, Miss M., Model School teacher,
1863-1865; Head Mistress Girls Mod
el School, 1865-1866.
Aitken, W. E. M.. M.A., Ph.D., Master,
Apperley, Gordon S., Model School
assistant, 1922-1931; Instructor, Man
ual Training, 1931-1941, On leave
Archibald, Charles, M.D., Model School
Armstrong, William, Drawing master,
Baldwin, Miss L. H., Teacher of Do
mestic Science, Model School, 1899-
Bale, Miss Evelyn, Instructor of Phys
ical Education, Model School, 1937-
1940; Library Assistant, 1947-
Barron, F. W., M.A., Master, 1857, May-
Bell, D. C., Professor of Elocution,
Bell, Robert, Model School teacher,
Bentley, J., Drawing master, 1857-1859.
Bibby, Miss Marie V., B.A., B.Paed.,
Master, 1923-1931 (Mrs. S. Nesbitt) .
Blanchard, H. A., B.A., Master, 1947-
Borden, Miss Eunice L., B.A., Assistant
Borland, Sgt.-Maj. D., Instructor in
Bouck, Clarence D., Model School as
Bowden, Mrs. C. E., Master, 1931-
Bowen, Mrs. M. H., Assistant Secretary,
Breed, Miss Gladys M., Instructor of
Home Economics, 1919-1923 (Mrs.
Brenton, Miss Clara, Kindergarten-
Primary teacher, 1916.
Brown, Mrs. M. W., Instructor in Read
Bunker, Miss Bessie C., Instructor of
Physical Education, Model School,
Burke, Mrs. C. S., Instructor, Primary
Burns, Lieut. D. W., Instructor of Phys
ical Training, 1939-
Campbell, Alex. R., Model School tea
Campbell, J. D., B.A., D.Paed., Master,
Campbell, Miss Margaret A., Instructor
and Kindergarten assistant, 1934-
1937 (Mrs. Murray Dryden).
Cannon, C. F., B.A., B.Paed., I. P. S.
York, Exchange master, 1940-1941.
Care, Miss Jean I, Instructor and Kin
dergarten assistant, 1938-1939.
Carlyle, James, M.D., Headmaster,
Boys Model School, 1858-1871, Mas
Carter, Miss Emma, Model School tea
Carter, Miss Mary, Model School tea
Casselman, A. C., Drawing master,
1892-1908, Master, 1909.
Caulfeild, Miss May K., Model School
teacher, 1887-1918; First Female as
Clare, Samuel, Writing master, 1867-
Clark, Miss Clara J., Model School tea
Clark, Mrs. Dorcas, First Head Mis
tress, Girls Model School, 1852-1865.
Clark, Miss Helen M., Model School
Clarke, J. P., Music teacher, 1848,
Clarkson, Charles, B.A., Headmaster,
Boys Model School, 1882-1886.
Cleland, Miss M. O., B.A., Assistant
Librarian, 1945, April-October.
Cody, Miss Ellen, Kindergarten assist
ant, 1894-1922; Instructor, Kinder
garten principles, 1914-1922.
Colles, W. H. G., Model School teacher,
Conover, Miss E. G., M.A., B.S., In
structor, Home Economics, 1938-1942.
Cooper, Thomas, Music teacher, 1856-
Coulon, Alphonse, Drawing master,
Craig, F. J., Writing master, 1854-1855.
Crawford, Mrs. K., B.A., Model School
Cringan, A. T., Mus. Bac., Music tea
Cringan, Elizabeth R., Instructor and
Kindergarten assistant, 1921-1925
(Mrs. J. W. Gardner).
Cross, Miss Jessie I., B.A., Model School
Cullen, Mrs. Martha, Head Mistress,
Girls Model School, 1867-1884.
Currie, Miss Jean B., Model School as
Dallimore, Miss Edith A., Assistant
Davey, Miss Lillian, Model School tea
cher, 1909-1912; as Mrs. L. Spence,
Model School teacher, 1915-1917.
Davey, P. N., M.D., Model School tea
Davies, Rev. H. W., D.D., Master, 1866-
1871; Third Principal, 1871-1884.
Davison, John L., B.A., M.D., Model
School teacher, 1873-1884.
Dearnlay, C. R., Instructor in Drill and
De Lestard, Guy, French teacher, 1905-
De Lestard, Mrs. G., French teacher,
Model School, 1910-1939.
Dimytosh, Miss A. N., Assistant secre
Disher, John C., M.D., Model School
Borland, S. M., M.D., Model School
Edwards, C. H., B.A., D.Paed., Master,
Elborn, H. E., M.A., B.Paed., Ninth
Elliott, W. H., B.A., Vice-Principal,
Evans, Miss Marion, B.A., Model School
Ewing, Miss Nina A., Instructor in
Home Economics, 1903-1932.
Firth, John W., B.A., Master, 1921-1939.
Fletcher, M. J., Model School teacher,
Fotheringham, David, Model School
teacher. 1856-1858; Headmaster, Boys
Model School, 1858, February-
Fripp, H. G. R., Normal School teacher,
Fuller, Mrs. V. S., Secretary, 1924-1930;
Model School assistant, 1930-1941.
Gillmayr, Miss Natalie, French teacher,
Glashan, J. C., Model School teacher,
Goodwin, Major H., Instructor in Drill
and Calisthenics, 1852-1853; 1854-
Graham, Miss Dorothea, B.A., Kinder
garten assistant, 1939-1940.
Graham, Mrs. F. T., Teacher of Elocu
Grant, Miss Cherry, B.A., Assistant
Greig, Miss Jean, Pianist, 1925-1941.
Hagarty, Miss Kate F., Model School
Hailman, Miss Bessie E., First Kinder
garten Directress, 1885-1886.
Halliday, Miss Florence F., B.A.,
B.Paed., Master, 1923-
Harding, Miss Alice A., Model School
Harding, Miss Lilian B., Kindergarten-
Primary teacher, 1917-1939; Instruc
Hardwick, Herbert, Model School as
Hare, Arthur F., Instructor in Writing,
Hart, Miss C. M. C., Second Kinder
garten Directress, 1886-1892.
Hay, Miss Mabel E., Instructor in
Household Science, 1923-1945.
Hickok, S. A., Music master, 1857-1858.
Hill, Miss E. M., Model School teacher,
Hind, H. Youle, Master, 1847-1852.
Hind, William, Drawing master, 1851-
Hipwell, Miss Phyllis, B.A., Instructor
in Art, 1930-1931.
Hodgins, Miss Mabel E., Instructor and
Kindergarten assistant, 1925-1932;
Fourth Kindergarten Directress, 1932-
Home, Miss Joicey M., A.O.C.A., In
structor in Art, 1937-
Hughes, James L., LL.D., Model School
teacher, 1867-1871 Headmaster, Boys
Model School, 1871-1874.
Hunt, Miss M. E., Model School teacher,
Hutton, Miss S. B., Assistant Secre
Ingall, Elmer E., B.A., Master, 1926-
Irving, Miss M. G. N., B.A., B.Paed.,
Irwin, Mrs. J., B.A., B.Paed., Instructor
in Art, 1934.
Johnston, Miss Catherine, Model
School teacher, 1852-1855.
Johnston, Miss Emma, Kindergarten
assistant, 1888, January-August.
Johnston, Miss Olga I., Instrcctor in
Home Economics, 1932-1938; 1943-
Johnston, Mrs. P. F., Instructor in
Household Science, 1931-1934.
Johnston, R. A., B.A., B.Paed., Master,
1932- ; Exchange Inspector, York 6,
Jones, Miss L. H., Model School teacher,
Jordon, John C., Model School teacher,
Joyce, Sgt.-Maj. J., Assistant Instructor
in Drill, 1926-1929.
Keefe, Nat., Instructor in Physical
Kendall, Robert, B.A., Model School
Kendrick, W. K. F., B.A., B.Paed.,
Master, 1931-1945, Exchange In
spector, South Simcoe, 1941-1943.
Kerr, Miss Dorothy L, Assistant Li
brarian, 1929-1935 (Mrs. Oliver W.
Keyes, S. J., B.A., D.Paed., Master,
King, Arthur, Instructor in Drill, 1900.
Kirkland, Thomas A., M.A., Master,
1871-1884; Fourth Principal, 1885-
Kniseley, Miss C. E., Model SchoolMcIntosh, Angus, Model School teacher,
teacher, 1909-1921 (Mrs. A. C.
Knox, Miss Agnes, Teacher of Elocu
Laidlaw, Miss Jean R., Kindergarten
Laven, Miss A. F., Model School tea
Lean, Miss M., Instructor in Needle
Legge, Q.-M. Sgt. J. S , Instructor in
LeRoy, Miss Grace, Secretary, 1907-
1919 (Mrs. T. M. Manson).
Lewis, Richard, Teacher of Elocution,
Lindsay, Miss Norma M., Model School
assistant, 1925-1934 (Mrs. Walter
Livingstone, John, Model School tea
cher, 1855, April-October.
Lowey, Charles, Headmaster, Boys
Model School, 1848, February-August.
Lusk, Charles H., M.D., Model School
Lynch, Miss Rose, Model School assist
Macbeth, Mrs. Emma, Instructor in
McCallum, Archibald, M.A., Head
master, Boys Model School, 1848-
McCausland, Miss C. E., Model School
McConnell, R. A. A., B.A., Master, 1925-
McCordic, F. M., Model School assist
ant, 1912-1923; Headmaster, Model
Macdonald, Adrian, M.A., Master, 1938-
McFaul, J. H., M.D., Drawing Master,
1884-1887; Headmaster, Boys Model
Macintyre, Miss Mary E., Kindergarten
assistant, 1890-1892; Third Kinder
garten Directress, 1892-1932.
McKay, Miss Jessie, Model School as
McKenzie, Miss L. P., Kindergarten as
MacKenzie, Miss Wilhelmina, Teacher
of Calisthenics, 1896-1899.
McKone, Edward H., B.A., B.Paed.,
McKone, Mrs. I. E., Instructor in Home
McLellan, Miss Hattie, Model School
McLeod, Adam, Model School assistant,
1921-1940; Headmaster, Model School,
McLurg, James, M.D., Model School
McMullen, Cecil E., B.A., Model School
MacMurchy, A., Teacher, 1857, June-
McPhedran, A., M.D., Model School
McVittie, W. R., B.A., Model School
assistant, 1931, January- June.
Mark, Clarence E., B.A., D.Paed., Mas
Mason, H. C., B.S.A., Master, 1928-
Mason, Mrs. W. W., Instructor in Music,
Masson, Eugene, French teacher, 1893-
Meehan, Miss M., Model School teacher,
1883-1901; First Female assistant,
Meneilley, Miss J., Model School
teacher, 1878, September-December;
Merchant, Miss Jean, Librarian, 1919-
Merritt, Miss Hope, Model School tea
cher, 1904-1910 (Mrs. Gillespie).
Miller, E. A., B.S.A., B.Paed., Master,
Mills, Miss Hattie B., B.A., Model
School teacher, 1896-1900.
Mitchell, Miss Elizabeth, Mus. Bac.,
Instructor and Kindergarten assist
Mitchell, Mrs. Kate H., Teacher of
Domestic Economy, 1897.
Montgomery, John E., B.A., Model
School assistant, 1917-1921.
Montizambert, Miss L. H., Teacher of
Scientific Sewing, 1897-1898.
Mooney, W. H. T., B.A., Master, 1923-
Moore, R., Model School teacher, 1858,
Morgan, Miss G., B.A., B Paed., Master,
Morris, James, Model School teacher,
Moshier, D. D., B.A., B.Paed., Master,
Mossop, Miss Rhea S., Instructor and
Kindergarten assistant, 1932-1934
(Mrs. C. Rutledge).
Murray, R. W., B.A., Model School tea
cher, 1887-1913; Headmaster, Model
School, 1913-1915; Master, Normal
Mustard, C. A., B.A., M.B.E., Master,
Mustard, J. Thornton, M.A., B.Paed.,
Model School teacher, 1911-1921;
Headmaster, Model School, 1921-
1923; Master Normal School, 1923-
1937, Eighth Principal, 1938-1939.
Oake, Miss S. M., Assistant Secretary,
Oldright, William, M.D., Instructor in
Ormiston. David. M.A.. Model School
Ormiston, Rev. William, B.A., D.D.,
Page, Miss Pauline, Model School
assistant, 1927-1929 (Mrs. C.
Paige, Robert G., Music master, 1854-
Park, M. H., B.A., B.Paed. Master, 1942-
Parr, T., Instructor in Drill and Cal
Patterson, A. M., M.A., B.Paed., Master,
Percy, C. E., F.L.C.M., Instructor in
Phillips, Miss Edith V., Model School
assistant, 1921-1925 (Mrs. C.
Porter, Thomas M., Model School tea
Powell, Miss Auta, Instructor in Art,
Prendergast, William, B.A., D.Paed.,
Preston, S. H., Music master, 1882-
Price, Major E. H., Instructor in Drill
Purslow, Adam, B.A., LL.D., Model
School teacher, 1858, May-September.
Radcliffe, S. J., B.A., D.Paed., Sixth
Rennie, Miss Edna B., Secretary, 1927-
Richardson, Miss Isabella, Model School
Ricker, H. E., M.A., B.Paed., Master,
Robertson, J. H., Music master, 1848.
Robertson, T. Jaffray, M.A., First Prin
Robins, S. P., M.A., LL.D , Model School
Rock, Warren, Model School teacher,
Rose, Miss Ada E., Model School tea
Rose, Miss Martha, Model School tea
Ross, Miss Mary M., Kindergarten as
Ross, Miss Sarah M., Model School
Russell, Miss Nellie, Model School tea
cher, 1891, September-December.
Russell, Mrs. Vera E., Instructor in
St. John, Miss Elizabeth, Assistant
Sangster, J. H., M.A., M.D., Model
School teacher, 1849-1853; Master,
Normal School, 1858-1866; Second
Schnick, Frederick W., Model School
Scott, Miss Margaret T., Head Mistress,
Girls Model School, 1884-1901.
Scott, William, B.A., Model School
teacher, 1869-1874; Headmaster, Boys
Model School, 1874-1882; Vice-Prin
cipal, Normal School, 1894-1899; Fifth
Sefton, H. F., Music master, 1858-1882.
Sharpe, Charters T., Model School as
Shenick, Miss Henrietta, Model School
Sherin, Miss Elsie, Instructor and Model
School assistant, 1939-1946.
Silcox, S., B.A., D.Paed., Master, 1908.
Sinclair, Arthur H., B.A., Model School
Sinclair, Mrs. Muriel G.. Master, 1923-
Small, Miss Alma, Instructor in Phys
ical Education, Model School, 1940-
Smith, Clayton R., B.A., C.G.A., In
structor in Bookkeeping, 1932-1934.
Smitheram, F. B., B.A., Master, 1941-
Soden, Miss Doris R., Model School as
Somers, Mrs. Jean, Instructor in Cal
Sorsoleil, Milton A., Model School tea
cher 1903-1916; Headmaster, Model
Spencer, Miss Eva, Model School as
sistant, 1929-1930 (Mrs. Davis).
Stacey, J. Samuel, Writing master,
Stevenson, O. J., M.A., D.Paed., Master,
Stockton, Miss Carolyn, Instructor in
physical training, Model School, 1923-
1929 (Mrs. L. M. Archibald).
Strachan, Alexander D., M.D., Writing
Strachan, H. G., Writing master, 1861-
Strieker, W. L., Instructor in Manual
Stuart, Miss Alice, Model School tea
Stubbs, S. J., B.A., Master, 1916-1923.
Sutherland, Miss C. F., Model School
Taylor, Miss F. M., Model School tea
Thompson, Mrs. Eleanor Shepherd,
M.A., Ph.D., Instructor in Art, 1932-
Thompson, Miss Miriam, Pianist, 1915-
Townsend, William, Music master, 1848-
Tupper, Elon, Music master, 1853-1854.
Turnbull, Miss Jessie, Model School
Uren, Miss Mary Frances, B.A., In
structor in Physical Training, Model
Vallentyne, H. J., B.A., I.P.S., Toronto,
Master, 1933-1934, on loan from
Toronto Board of Education.
Vining, Miss Charlotte, Secretary, 1919-
1925 (Mrs. Thomas Allan).
Walks, R. H., B.A., Master, 1913-1927.
Walsh, Patrick, Music master, 1850-
Warner, E., Instructor in Writing and
Watson, S. A., B.A., Master, 1940-1941;
Watson, Thomas, Instructor in Writing
and Bookkeeping, 1915-1916.
Watterworth, Miss Martha Maud, In
structor and Kindergarten-Primary
teacher, 1921-1946 (Mrs. E.
Watts, Walter A., Master, 1857-1858.
Weare, Mrs. Orpha Hickling, Assistant
Whimster, Miss Christina, Model School
Whyte, David, B.A., Master, 1909-1925;
Seventh Principal, 1929-1938.
Wilkinson, James H., Instructor in
Manual Training, 1903-1931.
Wilkinson, Mrs. Laura J., Model School
Wilson, Miss A. E. G., Model School
Wood, Miss Jeannie, Model School tea
Young, Miss M. C., M.A., B.Paed., Mas
L\ IT /SCHOOL
This book may be kept "7 days
After that time, a fine of 5
cents a day will be charged.
330.971 Toronto Normal School, 1847-